The most talked about title defense of Jon Jones career is on the horizon, so what’s the UFC light-heavyweight champion’s mind-set like a little more than a month out from the fight?
Sherdog.com’s Greg Jackson travelled to ‘Jackson’s MMA’ in New Mexico to find out. Read the keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the full video.
– After all the trash-talking, delays and hype Jones is glad to finally be preparing for the actual fight itself and focusing on putting on a great performance.
– Despite the animosity he’s had with Evans he says none of that will matter once he gets into the cage, and instead it’ll be just the same as any other fight where tactics, timing and seeing the openings will be what he focuses on.
– However, he does admit that he is extra motivated going into this bout particularly because he feels that Evans has disrespect his team – ‘Jackson’s MMA’ who he sees as family and so he believes he’s going to be fighting his former training partner to defend the honor of the team.
– Jones dismisses Evans claims that he has a “fake” persona, saying that as far as he’s concerned his argument “Holds no weight.” instead Jones believes that he just has charisma and personality and is able to adapt to different situations, or as he sees it, “putting on different hats to go to work.”
– The champ does admit however that at one time he and Evans were developing a bond and had a lot in common. He now questions whether Evans was in fact just playing the “big brother role” in order to ensure that he’d never have to fight him.
– Interestingly, while the usual assumption is that Evans was teaching Jones a lot when they were training partners given his experience in the sport, Jones believes it was the other way around. According to him it was he who was helping Evans with his style, expanding the creative and spiritual side of his game, and attempting to break him out of the mold of just being a boxer/wrestler.
– Jones thinks that Evans best chance will be to try to get him down and hold him there for five rounds, but he points out that he’s a very good wrestler too and thinks it’s “very unlikely” that Evans will be able to do so multiple times during the fight.
– He praises Lyoto Machida for being very illusive and hard to track down in the Octagon, while also being swift in the way he darted in and out with strikes. He describes him as “a great puzzle”, but was heartened by the fact that he was able to adjust his style and solve that puzzle when they fought.
– As for a potential move to heavyweight if he keeps winning, Jones says he’s not thinking that far ahead, pointing out that Evans has only lost once in his career and therefore it would be foolish to overlook him.