As one of the most accomplished fighters in mixed martial arts, Jon Jones has long been considered a dominant force in the sport. However, his recent move to the heavyweight division has presented a new set of challenges, particularly when it comes to finding sparring partners who can adequately mimic his upcoming opponent, Cyril Gane.
Jones recently took to Twitter to publicly appeal for fighters who could replicate Gane's style and was met with a flood of responses.
The Hunt for Sparring Partners
Jones' last title defense in the light heavyweight division came in early 2020 when he defeated Dominick Reyes.
Since then, he has been working to gradually increase his weight and prepare for his heavyweight debut. Initially, there were rumors that Jones would first face Stipe Miocic, then Francis Ngannou, before ultimately taking on Gane for the vacant belt.
However, as Jones has discovered, Gane presents a particularly difficult matchup. "Right now I’m on the hunt for southpaw heavyweights and light heavyweights that are interested in training here in Albuquerque for the month of February.
More than willing to compensate you for your time. Email me if you’re interested," Jones wrote on Twitter. The appeal was met with a positive response, as Jones noted in a follow-up tweet: "Man you guys are amazing, I asked and you men delivered.
The team and I have hundreds of emails to read through tonight, I appreciate your commitment."
Right now I’m on the hunt for southpaw heavyweights and light heavyweights that are interested in training here in Albuquerque for the month of February.
Jones and Cejudo: A Winning Partnership
Jones' preparation for his comeback has been overseen by former flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who has nothing but praise for the fighter's dedication and work ethic.
"Jones is a student of the game I think people need to recognize that. You teach him one thing, he comes back the next day and almost does it flawlessly. It's crazy to see the potential of how great Jones can still become, he's a man who has the god-given ability and when you teach a guy like that to have technique and discipline, that's what equals GOAT status," Cejudo said.
Jones was released from Jackson Wink MMA in 2021, following an arrest and charges of assault. Despite the setback, he remains one of the most highly-regarded fighters in the sport, and his partnership with Cejudo is sure to be a winning one.
Jones's next move
Jones's next move is to face Gane, who is a French mixed martial artist and a former Heavyweight champion in Bellator MMA. The fight is scheduled to take place in early 2023.