Jones, a former two-time light heavyweight king, has been out of action since a successful title defense against Dominick Reyes in 2020. Having vacated the gold soon after, “Bones” announced his intention to transition to heavyweight and pursue a second championship belt.
We’re now two years on and fans are still none the wiser about when Jones will enter the cage in his new weight class. Despite multiple training posts and positive updates on his bulk to a heavyweight physique, a combination of pay disputes with the UFC and legal troubles owing to another arrest saw Jones sit out the entirety of 2021.
But after spending time at Fight Ready and training alongside fellow former titleholder Cejudo, many are expecting the veteran to make his comeback in 2022.
When he does, “Triple C,” who assured supporters they’ll see Jones return to action this year, expects to witness the light heavyweight legend at his best and back to the top of the food chain.
While many have identified the new breed of heavyweights, fast and technical individuals like Ciryl Gane and Tom Aspinall, as fighters who can stall Jones’ ambitions, Cejudo only sees one way to halt the charge of “Bones,” and it’s not technique.
Cejudo: You Can Only Defeat Jones With Power
During an appearance on The Schmozone podcast, Cejudo assessed Jones’ chances at heavyweight. After agreeing that an interim title bout with the consensus divisional GOAT Stipe Miocic could serve as Jones’ welcome to the weight, the former flyweight and bantamweight kingpin doubted the 39-year-old’s ability to finish Jones.
“I think Jon Jones could fight another 10 fights man, and retire undefeated,” said Cejudo. “I really do… That’s the fight that’s gonna happen (Jones vs. Miocic). That’s where you’re gonna be able to really see the creativity of Jon. If you really think about it, Stipe doesn’t really have that — yeah, he knocked out (Fabricio) Werdum, but Werdum kind of walked into that punch, but I don’t see Stipe with like, crazy knockout power. I think Stipe’s greatest gift is his endurance.”
While some would reject the idea that a lack of KO power would be an issue for Miocic, Cejudo identified fight-ending shots as the only way in which Jones can be beaten inside the Octagon in his current form.
“The way you beat a guy like Jon Jones, you’re gonna have to beat him with power. You’re gonna have to take risk, and that’s gonna be with power,” claimed Cejudo. “This is why Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones is a very dynamite fight, because you have technician… Jon Jones knows how to win. The only person that could really counter that is a guy that take risks, omeone who can throw out the kitchen sink.
“That’s the only way to beat Jon Jones. You won’t beat him with attack, counter-attack, anticipation. You’re not a better competitor than him. He’s the best competitor right now in the UFC, pound-for-pound, in any division.”
With Ngannou spending several more months in the recovery room following knee surgery, it appears that, judging from Cejudo’s take, Jones’ toughest test is unavailable. If a clash with Miocic does come to fruition instead, the Ohio native will be looking to prove that narrative wrong by spoiling Jones’ heavyweight plans.
Do you agree with Henry Cejudo? Is power the only way to beat Jon Jones?