Jon Jones made a big impression when he headlined the UFC’s first Versus event earlier in the year, quickly demolishing a quality opponent in Brandon Vera, and he’ll be looking to continue that momentum when he tops the bill at the 2nd versus event in August.

On this occasion he’ll face UFC veteran Vladimir Matyushenko, and in a new interview he admits it’s not the fight he had hoped for.

“Matyushenko is a really, really tough opponent, but he’s really not a big name so in this fight I almost feel like I have a little more to lose than to gain,” he tells the CagePotato site. “No-one knows who he is really, but he’s a tough guy, he’s not someone to look past. He’s a solid step sideways. I think he’s just as good as Brandon Vera, he’s just got a completely different tool set.”

After a number of highly impressive outings in the octagon many people are touting Jon Jones as a future champion at 205lbs, and he himself admits he thinks he’s ready to face anyone in the division.

“I’m really confident in myself, I’m really big on faith and I just believe if I study for any opponent, you know I’m watching one guy – his interviews, his fights, his footwork, his timing – I think I’ll figure out that opponent. It’s like doing your homework…you know yourself, you know your opponent, and there’s really nothing to worry about.”

A key component of Jones success has been his remarkable reach, which measures 84 inches – the largest in the UFC. The scary thought for his future opponents is that Jones claims he’s only now starting to get to grips with just how potent a weapon it can be for him in the cage.

“Right now in the gym I’m just working on that reach, you know. Having the longest arms in UFC history really doesn’t help you out too much if you don’t know how to use it, so right now I’m just becoming more aware of the gift that I’ve been blessed with and you guys will get to see me utilize these long arms more and more.”

Thought it’s not discussed in the interview it would appear that sporting gifts run in the family as Jones brother, Arthur today signed a three year deal with NFL team, The Baltimore Ravens.

Check out Jones full interview below.


  1. I’m interested to hear your guy’s take on the whole Jon Jones scenario…
    The kid is hungry, he wants bigger names and he’s handled as tough or tougher guys in the likes of Stephan Bonnor, Matt Hamill and Brandon Vera…So what if he’s young! Give him bigger names and bigger fights, Matishenko is not going to be a draw. I understand nursing him and giving him ample time to make an impact on the sport, but he’s ready to move up to the upper echelons of the largely stacked light-heavyweight division.
    GSP was what, 23-24 when he fought for the title? Even though he lost, he came back and eventually became one of the most dominant champs in history. Why are they holding Jones back from a difference of only a few years?

  2. Personally I think Jones is the most naturally talented young fighter in the sport, and partly for that reason I actually agree with the strategy of taking things slowly with him ( I do think Matyushenko is a slightly odd step for him after defeating Vera though.)

    The thing to remember about Jones is that he is just 22 years old, and more significantly, he’s only been competing in MMA for two years. Even though he has now built up a record of 10-1, his first four pro fights all took place in the space of a month! He does have a background in wrestling but beyond that a lot of the fighting techniques he was using in his early fights were based on stuff he had learned by watching clips on YouTube.

    So he’s shown amazing natural ability to get to this point but it means there are holes in his game and therefore the more time spent training now in a proper camp like Greg Jackson’s where he is now based, the better it will be for him in the long run when he faces tougher opposition.

    My overall feeling is that there’s no rush. He’s going to be around for a long time so I think it’s wise to be patient and let him continue to develop and help build his fan base with strong performances. Guys like Jones don’t come around too often and he could have what it takes to become the next superstar like GSP, so a cautious approach now could pay off big time in the future.

    Having said all that, if he smashes Vladimir like he has everyone else so far then I’m sure the UFC will give him a tougher challenge next time out.