Tuesday, September 20, 2022

UFC insider drops bombshell on Jon Jones’ training with 205-pound samurai

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Former UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen is confident Jon Jones will successfully move up to heavyweight based on the reports he’s received of his training sessions.

Jones, former UFC light heavyweight king, is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. After nearly a decade of dominance, Jones appeared to have taken a step back in his last two games against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes. Although he emerged victorious in both hand-to-hand fights, Jones appeared far less convincing than usual.

After two razor-sharp victories, Jones decided to move up a weight class and has been preparing for his much-anticipated heavyweight debut for over two and a half years.

Appearing on Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, Sonnen was asked to share his thoughts on Jones’ rise to heavyweight. Given how close his last two light heavyweight games have been, the host doubted Jones could repeat the same success at the heavier division.

Sonnen backed his former rival to rule the heavyweight class based on what he learned from former two-division champion Henry Cejudo about Jones’ training with reigning UFC king Jiri Prochazka and other elite athletes.

“Yeah, damn he does, and probably two,” Sonnen said. “He probably wins the interim and then the undisputed. I mostly go by rumors in the practice rooms, but campfires really matter. Henry Cejudo sees him. He’s in the practice room. He’s seen him with Prochazka, he’s seen him with these top guys and Henry says he’s better now. That’s what he says.”

The announcement of Jones leaving the light heavyweight division left many confused. Sonnen, who faced Jones in the Octagon in April 2013 and was easily defeated by TKO in the first round, argued that “Bones” wants a challenge and wants to prove his doubters wrong.

“If Jon Jones hears you say that, he’ll love it. He wants to be questioned, he wants to be challenged,” said Sonnen. “I really think he left 205 pounds because it was depleted.

“I think he looks around and says, ‘Yeah man, close fight with Reyes, close fight with Santos,’ but he was better than that. He didn’t get the training, he didn’t get the pull out of them, the crowd expected too much from him. I think he wants to be in a position where he’s really being questioned.”

Jones was originally scheduled to compete with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou. But contract disputes, as well as injuries, kept the matchup away. Former champion Stipe Miocic emerged as the frontrunner to welcome Jones in a debut for the division’s interim title.

Sonnen doesn’t think a fight between Jones and Miocic would go as expected.

“He has a matchup problem. It’s taken us the last two years to get Jon heavyweight enough that he’s comfortable, but also to get the story across to the audience. Can Jon Jones overcome a deficit? This deficit will simply be a disadvantage of scale.

“But now they’re talking about setting him up with Stipe,” Sonnen continued. “Jon will outweigh Stipe and the whole two-year experiment will go up in smoke when they hit the scales. I think the right opponent is really important and I’m not sure I’m buying this Jones-Stipe match.”

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