Jon Jones is taking ‘FOREVER’ to make UFC heavyweight debut but will shake up the division ‘despite previously struggling against bigger guys’, claims old rival Daniel Cormier
- Jon Jones has been out of action in the UFC for almost three years
- American is regarded by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time
- He has been preparing to move up to heavyweight but is yet to make debut
- Dana White is now anticipating that Jones will return in first quarter of 2023
- Daniel Cormier says division ‘will be as fun as it has ever been’, with Jones
By the time Jon Jones next fights, it will have been more than three years since he last stepped into the octagon.
The lay-off has been so long and drawn out that it remains to be seen what kind of athlete we’ll see when the 35-year-old comes back.
But Daniel Cormier is relishing the prospect of his old rival shaking up the heavyweight division.
Jon Jones has not fought since February 2020 but is still plotting to return
Dana White anticipates that ‘Bones’ will return in the first quarter of next year and Cormier believes he should be able to cope with larger opponents, despite struggling against some in the past.
He told Chris Weidman’s Sirius XM podcast: ‘The guy’s a good fighter. Very talented. I think he’ll do good at heavyweight. But it’s a matter of him making the leap, right? It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for him to fight in this weight class.
‘I think the moment he makes the actual jump into the heavyweight division, it will make the division much more fun, it will make the division grow, and it’s already as fun as it’s been in a really long time.
‘But just some of the matchups that he could be involved in with Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane and Curtis Blaydes, it makes for an idea of some big time fights.’
Jones’ last fight was a light-heavyweight title defence against Dominick Reyes, that many fans felt went the wrong way on the scorecards.
Daniel Cormier believes Jones has the fight IQ to make up for a lack of size at heavyweight
He cited a lack of drive to fight in a division he’d dominated for so long and vacated the belt, promising to move up and become a two-weight champion.
Jones has regularly shared updates of himself bulking up for the challenge ahead and there was talk of him facing Stipe Miocic in the autumn but that clash never materialised.
Cormier went on: ‘Watching Pavlovich, after watching what he did to Tai Tuivasa and everybody recently, there’s some dangerous fights for him, especially when you look back on his light heavyweight career and see how he struggled at times with bigger guys.
Jones has been working hard to bulk up since his days at light-heavyweight
‘I think he’ll be fun to add, but I think there’s some big-time matchups in there for him.
‘If he’s beatable, why hasn’t anybody beaten him? He’s long, he’s strong, he’s got good cardio, and he’s got a lot of great qualities in there.
‘He’s very smart in the octagon That’s one of the areas I think people don’t give Jones the credit, his mentality and his fight IQ, his ability to process through a fight is better than most, and I think that’s why he’s had the longevity that he had.’
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