When we last saw Jon Jones, the MMA landscape was vastly different.
This Saturday night, the former UFC light heavyweight champion returns to the Octagon, colliding with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. The vacant heavyweight belt will be on the line.
Jones last fought in 2020, earning a very close decision victory over Dominick Reyes to defend his light heavyweight title. That came in February, as “Bones” would vacate the belt in August of the same year.
Prior to that, he reeled off defenses vs. Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith, along with a knockout of Alexander Gustafsson.
We all know the resume by this point for Jones. Eleven successful title defenses, including eight during his 1,501-day first reign.
He has the longest unbeaten streak at 18 in UFC history along with the most consecutive wins, most consecutive title defenses and most UFC title wins in promotion history.
All in all, outside of the issues legally, Jones has little to negate when calling himself the greatest of all-time.
This Saturday, he can join a select list of athletes to wear UFC gold in multiple weight classes. To do so, he’ll need to shake off the rust and the skills of Gane, who held the interim title at one point.
Gane is 11-1 with eight finishes including victories over Junior dos Santos and Tai Tuivasa. He will present one of the biggest challenges in the career of Jones.
But would you doubt him? Would you bet against him?