Imperial Valley Press

Jon Jones hopes to end any doubts about best ever at UFC 285


LAS VEGAS – Jon Jones has spent the past three years at his home in Albuquerqu­e, New Mexico, focusing on being with family, hunting and getting ready for his big comeback.

He hired a team to help him get ready for Saturday night when he will take a step up to the heavyweigh­t division and attempt to end any doubt – if any remains – that he is the greatest fighter in UFC history.

He made that case as a light heavyweigh­t by winning a record 14 title fights and is on a UFC-best 18-match unbeaten streak, giving him a 26-1 record with one no-contest. Next up is France’s Ciryl Gane, who at 11-1 is the topranked heavyweigh­t.

A victory also could put Jones, 35, back in the conversati­on for top poundfor-pound fighter, a spot currently held by featherwei­ght Alexander Volkanovsk­i.

“I’m fighting to be the greatest fighter ever, not to be the best pound-forpound right now,” Jones said.

His fight against Gane for the vacant heavyweigh­t title is the headline event of UFC 285. In the top undercard match, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (23-3) of Kyrgyzstan faces sixthranke­d Alexa Grasso (153) of Mexico.

Just about all eyes will be on Jones, who not only must prove that he can be just as successful is the heavyweigh­t division as he was one level down, but also that the long layoff won’t negatively affect him.

Jones said he hasn’t been idle even if he hasn’t fought in the UFC since defeating Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision on Feb. 8, 2020. He said he has become stronger than ever, even if his body isn’t as toned. But Jones said that’s because of the added weight to fight in the highest class.

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