The greatest to ever do it, Jon Jones, returns to the octagon on Saturday after three years away from competition to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship.
Jones faces former title challenger and top 205-pound contender Ciryl Gane for the vacant title. Being away from the sport for three years has many wondering whether we’ll see ‘ring rust’ from Jones in the UFC 285 title bout. Some, like former two-time bantamweight champion Domnick Cruz, ring rust is just a myth, but for others like UFC President Dana White, it’s no myth.
“I’m an absolutely believer in it,” White said on The Jim Rome Show. “[Muhammad] Ali was off for three years. He never looked the same when he came back after three years.”
Jones has been training and putting on muscle during his time away and expects to be as fresh as if he simply had a really long training camp.
“I can tell you this. Jon Jones is an absolute freak of nature. He has been since the day he walked into this company,” said White.
“The interesting thing about this fight for Jon Jones is. When we were going to do the Francis Ngannou fight, Jon Jones was the favorite. As we go into the Ciryl Gane fight, Jon Jones in the underdog,” explained White. “So this fight means that much more to Jon Jones to go in as an underdog in the heavyweight division and beat Ciyrl Gane.”
“I think, and what I’ve heard Jones talking this week, he believes that he’s more of a complete fighter than Ciryl Gane is. Jon Jones feels like he’s the whole package and they’ve never seen anything like him in the heavyweight division.”
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