UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones isn’t easy to impress when it comes to combat sports and mixed martial arts.
Jones earned the then-vacant UFC heavyweight title by defeating Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. He returned after a three-year layoff to win another UFC belt in his heavyweight debut.
Leading up to the victory over Gane, Jones downplayed some of the hype surrounding Gane’s heavyweight prowess. Some felt Gane would be Jones’ toughest all-time test due to his impressive kickboxing and speed for the division.
Jones proved that the hype surrounding Gane might’ve been overplayed, and there are only a few things that impress the future UFC Hall of Famer inside the Octagon.
Jon Jones: Longevity, Overcoming Adversity Earns My Respect
During a recent interview with Kanpai Media, Jones revealed what it takes for him to be truly impressed by an opponent or fellow fighter.
“As far as people thinking Ciryl was gonna win, you can’t expect people to view the game the way we view it,” Jones said. “People get so excited for the new guy. ‘He’s flashy, his kickboxing looks so good’. A lot of people confuse MMA with kickboxing and boxing. They get so impressed with that one-shot knockout power, and they kind of look past the Nurmagomedovs, the Matt Hughes, the GSPs of the sport who are truly well-rounded.
“I never lose sight, I never get too impressed by people. I like to see longevity, I like to see them go through controversy, hell and a category they’re not familiar with. That’s when you gain my respect, being truly well-rounded in the game.”
Jones faced most of the top light heavyweight contenders during his reign as the UFC’s 205lb champion. There are only a few styles that Jones hasn’t dealt with when preparing for fights during his career.
Jones earned the ‘Fighter of the Year’ ESPY Award earlier this year ahead of his UFC 295 return. He was nominated alongside top fighters like Leon Edwards and Amanda Nunes.
Jones is a student of MMA and knows what it takes to be great in the discipline. If a fighter wants to impress him, they’ll have to prove they can do it all in and out of the cage.
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