Former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones looks poised to make a big impact at heavyweight.
Jones on Thursday posted a video of a recent pad session with longtime coach Brandon Gibson. The ex-champ went bare-knuckle and touted his readiness to make his long-awaited heavyweight debut.
“Right now I’m exactly where I need to be, I’m excited to see myself in a few months when things actually start to ramp up,” Jones wrote. “Feeling sharp across the board.”
Jones, 35, has been ramping up for more than two years for his debut in the big-man division, though his future in the octagon hasn’t always been clear. After relinquishing his light heavyweight title amid a contract dispute with the UFC, he focused on building bulk and stayed on the sidelines as he changed managers and worked behind the scenes on his next career move.
None of that kept Jones off social media, where he clapped back at critics and reminded fans of his stellar run at 205 pounds.
This year, talk of a Jones return has heated up after the resolution of a domestic battery case that paused his comeback. He is widely expected to take on ex-champ Stipe Miocic in his heavyweight debut, though a date has not been finalized.
Jones left his longtime camp Jackson-Wink MMA Academy in the wake of his arrest in the battery case; the ex-champ has worked with a variety of coaches and toured gyms such as Fight Ready to work with former champ-champ Henry Cejudo. He is currently affiliated with Jackson’s MMA Acoma gym in his adopted hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.