JON JONES is still “bulking” up for his long-awaited UFC heavyweight debut – despite already having undergone a dramatic body transformation.
The former pound-for-pound king, 35, has been on the sidelines for nearly THREE YEARS and has been using his time out of the cage to put on the beef.
Jones’ once wiry light-heavyweight frame has been replaced by a hulking physique – although he’s not done with the heavy lifting just yet.
After being mocked by a fan for an apparent lack of speed in a recent training video, Jones tweeted: “I personally don’t feel slow, I’m aware that I’m not in camp and I am in a bulking phase.
“But I like people judging that version of me, it could only work to my advantage.”
The criticism of his recent bare-knuckle pads session has only served to further motivate Jones.
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The youngest champion in UFC history said: “For all those who said I looked a little slow in my last training video, I appreciate the added motivation.
“I’ll push harder, can’t wait for you all to see your boy in actual fight shape. Everything has its process.”
Jones’ current weight is unknown – although his advisor revealed to SunSport in April that he was looking to bulk up to a whopping 275lbs.
Richard Schaefer said of Jones’ extended hiatus: “He felt just felt that he needed a little bit more time to really gain the right muscle mass.
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“He’s like 260, now, and he wanted to move up to 275lbs.
“Not just gain weight, but gain weight in a smart way and still be explosive. So he needed a little bit more time.”
Jones’ time away from the cage has in part been down to a very public contract dispute with the UFC brass.
Schaefer, however, resumed negotiations with the promotion in January and made great strides in securing a suitable deal for his client.
He said: “He is willing, ready and able to fight whoever we can get for the heavyweight title.”
Jones hasn’t set foot inside the octagon since his controversial and final defence of the light-heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020.
Fights with former and current heavyweight champs Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou have been mooted, although Jones’ current goal is just putting on more size.
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He said: “Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure in one of Dana‘s last interviews he stated, ‘Jon’s ready to go, just waiting to see what happens between Stipe and Francis’
“Right now I’m focusing on controlling what I can, that’s packing on the pounds.”