UFC 285 — Jon “Bones” Jones

Jon Jones UFC 235 UFC 239
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Like it or not, cutting weight is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted the weight cut from the sport of wrestling, where it’s supposed to be profitable to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class.

Known as “the fight before the fight,” most UFC fighters cut between 5-25 pounds, with some fighters cutting more than 30 pounds. Losing weight is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower.

Many fighters in the sport feel that it is very unprofessional to miss weight and there is often always a risk of a fighter losing a percentage of their fight purse.

In this series we will shine a light on select fighters who have cut a huge amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made changes in weight classes, along with how the weight cut and weigh in could affect possible upcoming matchups .

In short, every aspect of weight reduction and how it affects the fighting game.

Jon “Bones” Jones (26-1, 1 NC MMA, 20-1, 1 NC UFC)

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): 20-1 (UFC), former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion

Heavyweight (265 lbs): 0-0 (MMA) UFC and career debut

Jon Jones will return to UFC competition at UFC 285 after a three-year hiatus.

Often described as the most naturally gifted fighter, Jones stands 6’4″ tall and has a massive 84.5″ reach. John is also gifted with top-level athleticism, as both of his brothers (Chandler and Arthur Jones) are Super Bowl-winning players in the NFL.

The man also known as “Bones” will have come a long way when he steps into the cage at UFC 285. John got his nickname “Bones” for a reason, as even when he made the 205-pound championship weight, as he did for more most of his career, he would be hard-pressed to remember a time when Jon Jones actually looked sick or unhealthy on the scale from cutting weight.

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Surprisingly, Jones was never a fighter who struggled in the light heavyweight division, even though he had a huge frame for the division thanks to his slight build, especially on the legs.

Although he fights at middleweight moving up to 205lbs. entertained throughout their careers (like Israel Adesanya) 20lbs. the gap would undoubtedly be too much for Jones to handle dropping down to 185lbs.

The 14-time UFC title winner took years off from MMA competition to bulk up, at one point weighing in at 267lbs. Jones, who when fighting at 205lbs. weighed about 220 pounds. out of camp, it will probably weigh close to 245 lbs. for his heavyweight fight against Cyril Gane.

Despite many fans’ observations of Jones not looking aesthetically impressive during UFC 285 fight week, he has certainly gained strength as he was caught squatting north of 450lbs. Jones, who turns 36 later this year, appears to have gained approximately 25 pounds. at a functional weight that looks natural given his age, body type and purpose for the weight.

The two main questions in my mind about John’s move to heavyweight are:

How will the extra weight affect John’s skills?

How will the new UFC heavyweight contenders stack up against Jones?

Long story short, at light heavyweight Jon’s reach was unheard of and only Alexander Gustafsson came close (79″ reach), but at heavyweight that won’t be the case as he’s facing some naturally bigger men.

Jones has excellent grappling, elbows and a variety of kicks, with one of his biggest weapons being his creativity with chaining together his techniques and strikes. John’s grappling and kicking will be important assets at heavyweight to control the pace and distance in dangerous exchanges. And being a “lighter” heavyweight has proven to be an advantage in the past for fighters like Stipe Miocic for speed and cardio.

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Jon Jones has a lot of new hungry competition that stands up to him very well both physically and stylistically.


Sergey Pavlovich at 6’3″ with an 84″ girth and weighing 255lbs. is one of John’s immediate threats. Pavlovich is only 30 years old and has deep experience in Greco-Roman wrestling and combat sambo. (Sergei is also the official stunt double for the UFC 285 main event)

Stipe Miocic at 6’4″ with an 80″ girth and weighing 234lbs. is another of John’s immediate threats. Stipe may be 40 years old, but his experience in Division 1 collegiate wrestling and slick boxing still make him a threat.

Curtis Blades at 6’4″ with an 80″ girth and weighing 260lbs. is another immediate threat to Jones. Curtis is an award-winning NJCAA fighter who has seamlessly transitioned his wrestling to MMA and is also becoming a threat on the feet as well.

Tom Aspinall at 6’5″ with a 78″ girth and weighing 251lbs. is a fighter who could be a threat in a few years. Thom suffered a brutal knee injury last year in his fight against Curtis Blades, but at only 29 years old, it could be a really tough fight for Jones if/when he returns.

There are also fighters like Sergey Spivak and Alexander Volkov which could potentially lead to good fights on the horizon.

The fighting world will be watching as Jones steps on the scale ahead of his UFC heavyweight title fight against Cyril Gane the following day on March 4 in Las Vegas.

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