From one of the UFC’s greatest champions to another, legendary flyweight Demetrious Johnson had some thoughts about Jon Jones’ recent move to the heavyweight division. Though ‘Mighty Mouse’ was still impressed with the way ‘Bones’ made quick work of Ciryl Gane at 285, DJ shared an opposing opinion regarding the decision to move up.
Having been away from the Octagon ever since a controversial unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes in February 2023, the three-year gap in Jon Jones’ career left many pundits wondering about how the former light heavyweight champion would come back. Now that the 35-year-old returned with an impressive finish over a top heavyweight, fans and fellow fighters alike have been discussing Jon’s feats as well as his future again.
Demetrious Johnson wanted a lean Jon Jones
One of said fighters is ONE’s flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who did not exactly approve of all the weight Jon Jones decided to gain before finally making the move to heavyweight. In DJ’s opinion, he saw no reason for Jon to put on so many pounds, considering how effortlessly he could finish Gane.
“Honestly, I didn’t think he needed to put on that weight to do what he just did,” Johnson told The MMA Hour (transcribed by MMA Mania). “He could have done all that at 205. At the end of the day, it’s not like he’s going against a massive jiu-jitsu wrestler in the Heavyweight division, right? Jon Jones is long, he has the range advantage for most of his fights. Look at ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier). ‘DC’s’ like 5-foot-9, 265 [pounds], and he was able to do everything he wants.
Demetrious Johnson is still a fan of Jones
However, Johnson thinks the feat would have been even more impressive if Jones had done it without gaining that much mass. Nonetheless, the flyweight still guarantees that he is a big admirer of Bones, even if he has has opposing thoughts.
“I’m happy to see he’s back,” he continued. “I think he’s the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) because of all the things he’s been able to do and all that stuff he’s done outside … whatever. For him to come back and do that at Heavyweight, I think he didn’t have to go up to Heavyweight to do that. He could have done that at 205 and held both those belts. He could have been another champ-champ if he really wanted to. He looked great.”
Demetrious Johnson and Jon Jones are two of the greatest in UFC history
The win over Gane put Jones (27-1-1 NC) on a 19-fight undefeated streak, with a No Contest in his first encounter with Daniel Cormier, which was overturned when tested positive for banned substance Turinabol.
Nevertheless, the 35-year-old is considered by most the best light heavyweight in UFC history, with wins over the best names of his generation, such as Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida and Alexander Gustafsson, to name a few. Jones’ only loss is a disqualification defeat to Matt Hamill, due to illegal elbows, in December 2009.
Meanwhile, Johnson won back the ONE flyweight title when he knocked out Adriano Moraes with a highlight reel flying knee in a rematch, in August 2022. In his previous match, the 36-year-old lost the belt to ‘Miquinho’ when they first fought, in April of 2021.
Demetrious Johnson is widely considered the best flyweight in UFC history, as well. During his time with the promotion, DJ defended his belt 11 times, beating notable names such as John Dodson, Joseph Benavidez, Henry Cejudo and Kyoji Horiguchi. In August 2018, he lost the title via split decision to Cejudo, thus ending his reign in the Octagon.
Demetrious Johnson is set for a trilogy fight at ONE
A trilogy bout between Demetrious Johnson and Adriano Moraes is scheduled for ONE Fight Night 10, on May 3. The card is set to take place in Broomfield, Colorado. Meanwhile, a potential match between Jones and former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is rumored to be in the works for UFC 290, on July 8. However, nothing has been confirmed yet.
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