Jones, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest martial artists of all time, hasn’t been in action since he defended the light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 last February. After returning from a 2017 suspension to regain the 205-pound gold in a vacant championship fight versus Alexander Gustafsson, Jones went on to defend the strap three times during his second reign.
Following decision wins over Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Reyes, “Bones” vacated the title in order to pursue a move up to the heavyweight division. Now over a year-and-a-half later, Jones is yet to make his divisional debut and has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons yet again.
Despite multiple incidents, suspensions, and run-ins with the law in the past, Jones found himself in police custody again earlier this year. Hours after his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame in September, the former light heavyweight kingpin was arrested in Las Vegas on charges of battery domestic violence and injuring and tampering with a vehicle.
After being publicly condemned by fighters, pundits, and fans, Jones found himself suspended from the Jackson Wink MMA Academy. Having announced his switch to Jackson’s MMA Acoma, Jones was recently seen training with Cejudo at Arizona’s Fight Ready gym.
Cejudo Believes Jones Has “All The Tools & Resources”
Cejudo, a former flyweight and bantamweight champion, retired from MMA following his 135-pound title defense against Dominick Cruz last May. Since then, he’s remained involved in the sport and has played a role in training other fighters.
“Triple C” recently worked with former strawweight champion Zhang Weili ahead of her rematch against Rose Namajunas at UFC 268. Whilst she ultimately came up short, it was a close battle and “Magnum” certainly gave a better showing than their first meeting at UFC 261. Jones is now the latest name to pursue the expertise of the former Olympic gold medalist.
While many, including Curtis Blaydes in an exclusive interview with MMA News, have suggested Jones hasn’t had the right people around him in his life, Cejudo has assured the MMA community that he will hold “Bones” accountable. During a recent episode of The Triple C & Schmo Show, Cejudo detailed Jones’ decision to train with him.
“Once that whole thing happened with Jones, he reached out to me. It’s mutual respect. He wanted to get my perspective. So he came out to Arizona for 3 days. We worked on everything. He recognizes what I’ve done. I will hold Jon Jones accountable.” (h/t @henry_cejudo on Instagram)
Cejudo added that Jones has everything necessary to find success in the sport again. He sees his role as simply “polishing” the former champion’s game.
“To me, he has all the tools and resources, what i will be doing is polishing up that Ferrari Lambo that he is. I believe him reaching out and him being humble, he enjoyed it, he loved it.”
Prior to his latest arrest, Jones told reporters at the Hall of Fame ceremony that he was targeting a return to the Octagon in the second quarter of 2022. Given that Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane are set to collide in a unification bout at UFC 270 next January, it stands to reason Jones will be targeting a clash against the victor later in the year.
Do you think Jon Jones can return to the top with the help of Henry Cejudo?