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Former UFC champ Jon Jones lists two main reasons for the move to heavyweight

In the world of mixed martial arts, few names carry the weight of Jon Jones. From his dominant reign as UFC light heavyweight champion to his highly publicized struggles with the law, Jones has remained one of the sport's most talked-about figures. And now, with his highly anticipated move up to the heavyweight division, the attention on Jones is only increasing.

As he prepares for his first heavyweight fight against Ciryl Gane at UFC 285, Jones has been reflecting on the factors that led to his decision to move up in weight. In a recent interview with Unlocking the Cage with Jimmy Smith, Jones thought back on his last matches at 205 pounds before relinquishing the light heavyweight championship.

“I stopped studying footage as much, it started to feel more like another day at the office,”

“The fear was gone. I didn’t really fear these guys.”

Jones has certainly made his mark on the light heavyweight division, having held the UFC title for a record-breaking 14 times. His dominance in the division has led many to question whether anyone can truly challenge him. However, Jones has always been one to push himself to new heights, and the move to heavyweight is just the latest example of this.

In UFC 247 in February 2020, Jones defeated Dominick Reyes by a close decision in his latest recent encounter. Thereafter, Jones took the choice to advance in the division to challenge the then-champion Francis Ngannou, who is currently a free agent after leaving the UFC following his decision victory over Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022.

But the lack of fear isn't the only reason Jones is making the move. In addition to announcing that Jones will contest Gane for the heavyweight title at UFC 285 as well as that Ngannou was a free agent, UFC president Dana White further disclosed that "Bones" had agreed to a new eight-fight contract with the organization. The former 205-pound champion explained that although he already had a long-term contract in place, the newest deal is far more lucrative, which was another important factor in his choice to go up to heavyweight.

“I wasn’t happy with my pay, either. I’m stuck fighting guys like Reyes — who had been dreaming of fighting me, probably since college, and [he] was just relatively unknown to the general public. I just wanted more, I wanted to be nervous again. I wanted to have fear again. I think fear is healthy, and now we’re in this position. The heavyweight division has never been scarier, and I’m glad to be in the middle of it,” Jones said.

Of course, the move to heavyweight is no small feat. Jones will be facing a new set of challenges as he takes on fighters with a significant size and strength advantage. But if anyone is up to the challenge, it's Jones. He has long been considered one of the greatest fighters in the sport, and his move to heavyweight only solidifies that status.

As we approach UFC 285 and Jones' first heavyweight fight, the excitement surrounding the move is palpable. Fans and analysts alike are eager to see how he will perform in the new division, and whether he can continue his dominance in the sport. For Jones, it's a chance to prove himself once again and make a statement that could reverberate throughout the MMA world.


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