clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Coach on Jon Jones’ ‘inevitable’ move to heavyweight: ‘It’s one of our bigger goals’

New, comment
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones is gearing up for a light heavyweight title defense against Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC 247 in Houston, Texas, but the polarizing star’s future at heavyweight is one of the main subplots ahead of the contest.

Jones’ longtime striking coach at Jackson-Wink MMA, Brandon Gibson, believes that the move up in weight class is “inevitable” for “Bones”, but understands that victory over Dominick Reyes is essential for the controversial champion to continue to build his legacy.

“I think a move towards heavyweight will be inevitable,” Gibson told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast, “I think that it’s one of our bigger goals. Whether it’s this year or next, or 2022, I don’t know. But I definitely think we’ll see Jon fight at light heavyweight again, for sure, that’s a belt he’s held for a decade.”

Based on what he’s witnessed during training sessions at the Albuquerque gym when Jones has shared the mats with the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem, Travis Browne and Frank Mir, among others, Gibson is very confident that Jones will shine in the maximum weight category.

“We’ve seen Jon train with Hall of Fame, championship-caliber heavyweights for a long time like Andrei Arlovski, Overeem and Travis Browne…Frank Mir – we’ve had so many greats at our gym,” he said.

“I’ve seen Jon firsthand demonstrate his skills against these fighters, and I know that he’s very confident. As the challenges at light heavyweight continue to be resolved, I think the move to heavyweight is a logical next step.”

The celebrated striking coach also insisted that he is looking forward to creating game plans for some of the potential challenges he could encounter at heavyweight.

“I think Jon matches up so well against so many of the heavyweights. I would love to see the gameplan we could develop for a power puncher like Stipe, or even for a trilogy fight with ‘DC’ at heavyweight…or for an ultimate powerhouse like Ngannou. There are so many possibilities that excite me, just like the Adesanya fight. It really is our goal to make sure that we take care of business with Dominick, to create opportunities for ourselves in the future.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Brandon Gibson interview begins at 1:24:00.