Jones He doesn’t know what it’s like to lose – neither in the Octagon nor outside of it.

There might be something strange to say about a man who has one defeat in his record, who has lost a defeat twice. UFC the title and several times lost control to the point of being arrested and yet the issue still stands.

Jones’ only loss in mixed martial arts came thanks to a controversial disqualification for illegal elbow use. Two championship losses saw the light-heavyweight belt be taken away by the UFC, not an opponent, due to an arrest and a failed drug test, respectively. And whenever the 35-year-old found himself handcuffed and in a prison cell, it wasn’t long before he traded them for 4oz gloves and a gym.

Jones has been his own biggest rival in his 15-year career, causing more trouble than any of his rivals. Even double-weight champion Daniel Cormier couldn’t bother “Bones”; champions Lyoto Machida, “Rampage” Jackson, “Shogun” Rua, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira couldn’t be bothered either. This hit list, which also features the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, Chael Sonnen, Stephan Bonnar, and Ryan Bader, is just one of the reasons why many fans consider Jones the greatest mixed martial artist of all time – despite his ambivalence, both inside and out. ring. Other reasons include his combat IQ, which is his ability to adapt and his versatility – which conflicts with his decision-making in other areas of his life.

It’s not American’s fault that he’s rarely tested in the Octagon, but nonetheless, it’s been a decade since he promised to rise to heavyweight, a region inhabited by a different breed of athlete. But now, three years after his last fight, Jones is finally making a belated comeback and making a much-anticipated debut in a new weight class.

in the main event UFC 285 This Saturday is waiting for a chance for the vacant title. So is the former interim champion. Cyrillic Ganeeven a different type of heavyweight.

The questions are many. Jones retains a reach advantage, but at 205lbs he loses the height advantage he holds against most of his rivals; Will bulky “Bones” give up the speed advantage that has proven so vital in the light-heavyweight division? Resembling the heavyweight version of Jones in some areas, will Gane neutralize the American’s holdings in the kickboxing exchanges? If power-piercing Francis Ngannou can beat Gane, then how does the Frenchman prevent Jones from doing the same? Does Gane have the punching power to rate Jones’ chin in a way that no light-heavyweight can?

Yet perhaps the most intriguing question is: What’s next for Jones?

former champion He recently announced that he has eight games left on his contract., says: “Hopefully I can pass all eight fights; There are a lot of fights at 35. We’ll see.” Given Jones’ age and inactivity over recent years, it’s almost impossible to imagine him competing in the UFC eight more times. It’s hard to imagine him fighting more than three times, and Saturday’s main event could be his last fight in the UFC, especially if he loses. unthinkable even.

Former interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane has an 11-1 record

(Getty Images)

What if he wins? While they are skilled fighters in both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions, few have the combination of profile and courage to inspire the ‘fear’ that Jones claims he needs. Considering his uninspired and uninspiring final run before the break, including their narrow win against Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos, which many fans disputed, Jones said last week: “I stopped reviewing images that long. I began to look forward to another day at the office. The fear was gone, I wasn’t really afraid of these guys. I was starting to fight guys like Reyes, who had probably dreamed of fighting me since college, and he was relatively unknown to the general public. I just wanted more. I wanted to get angry again. I wanted to have fear again.”

Thirty-two-year-old Gane should strike fear into “Bones” with his impressive proclivity for mixing martial arts this early in his career. But it won’t be the kind of intimidation that Ngannou would inspire. Ngannou, a former teammate of Gane’s, was the most devastating puncher to ever grace the UFC and was Jones’ opponent of choice before the Cameroonian left the UFC in January.

Beyond Gane, the consensus heavyweight ‘GOAT’ Stipe Miocic has been out of the Octagon for almost as long as Jones. Curtis Blaydes is a viable opponent, but the wrestling expert must first manage a confrontation with Sergei Pavlovich. The latter may make an engaging match for Jones, but the Russian lacks the exposure and English skills that would really sell a fight with “Bones.” Rising British star Tom Aspinall is recovering from an injury and probably needs two wins for a title fight.

Jon Jones (left) narrowly beat Dominick Reyes in his latest fight, three years ago


In the light-heavyweight division, many will argue that new champion Jamahal Hill lacks the experience and skill set needed to take down Jones, while “Sweet Dreams” predecessor Jiri Prochazka is injured. The points that apply to Pavlovich also apply to Magomed Ankalaev, and former champion Jan Blachowicz turned 40 last week.

If Jones can outrun Gane and go through the weekend without controversy, he’ll have proven he can usher in a new era of dominance. Then again, Jones has the potential to overcome indifference. In fact, this indifference may well be inevitable.

While “Bones” would no doubt like to dominate Gane, he doesn’t want to establish long-term domination of the sort he used to practice.

Win or lose on Saturday, this could be the end of Jones.

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