LOS ANGELES – Coach Brandon Gibson is confident Jon Jones will bring a special type of skillset to heavyweight.
The former UFC 205-pound king is yet to make his heavyweight debut, but has put in some serious work in the gym to bulk up to a bigger frame.
Gibson, the longtime striking coach of Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC), thinks not only will his star student give the heavyweight division fits on the feet, but also on the ground.
“I think there’s a lot of areas that Jon could exploit at heavyweight,” Gibson told MMA Junkie. “He has such a wide arsenal of techniques. He’s so dangerous, but you’re right. There’s a lot of heavyweights that are great boxers, that are great in the clinch, but Jon’s wrestling is on another level.
“His ground-and-pound is on another level. His jiu-jitsu is on another level, and then just the full spectrum of his striking arsenal, I think is on another level. So Jon’s gonna bring a lot to the table at heavyweight that I don’t think we’ve ever seen another heavyweight bring.”
Jones hasn’t competed since he retained the light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes in February 2020. No date or opponent have been determined for his return, but Gibson says Jones hasn’t stopped working on his craft.
“We’re just staying ready,” Gibson said. “It’s been a long process and I feel very confident with the work he’s done to rebuild his body into heavyweight, and the work we’ve been doing almost the last, coming up on, three years I’m very proud of. Jon has put in the work. There are no shortcuts in this game and he’s really continuing to develop all elements of his game, and whether it’s December or whether it’s another date, whether it’s Stipe or Francis or another opponent, we’re just focused on Jon and his growth.”
Gubson continued, “I see Jon happy, I see Jon focused, and I see him very motivated on capturing this goal that he’s set for himself so I’m happy. I can’t wait to make that walk with him, it’s gonna be special.”