Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones will go down as one of, if not the best fighter ever to grace the UFC.
Jones in an elite grappler, who has only been taken down by former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, while Bones also boasts one of the most destructive striking games in the sport.
In March 2011 Jones became the UFC’s youngest ever world champion when he defeated Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua for the light-heavyweight title at the age of 23.
Jones would go on to defend the title eight times, however, troubles outside the cage saw him lose his title on two occasions, most recently having a knockout win against Cormier at UFC 214 turned to a no-contest following a failed pre-fight drug test.
It was announced Jones will once again return to the UFC when he meets rival Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29, in Las Vegas.
The fight will be a rematch of their 2013 Fight of The Year contender, in which Bones won a close points decision, a significant moment in the contest being a huge spinning elbow for the American in the fourth round.
In an interview with , Jones, who is renowned for his creative striking, claimed he believes if he was to transition to boxing success could follow.
Jones talks about his chances of success in boxing
“When I started doing MMA, I found myself in the UFC about nine months after my first practice so I’m aware that I have a mind for fighting,” Jones said.
“I believe that if I were to hire the right people to be around me, that’s maybe four boxing coaches.
“That’s what the guys at the highest levels [have]. Hire guys to come in here and we spend two years focusing on boxing and only boxing, I believe I’d be able to compete with the best in the world.”
It’s clear Jones, who has recorded nine knockouts in his professional MMA career, believes his striking ability could transfer over in the boxing game.
And someone who agrees with Jones, is his opponent Chael Sonnen, who cited Bones’ history of being a ‘winner’ means he could succeed in a move over to boxing. “It’s the intangibles. When you are talking about Jon Jones, you are talking about a winner.
Sonnen discusses Jones chances in boxing
“And you can talk about guys and their skills and their ability to grapple and their old college wrestling days, some guys are winners and some guys aren’t. That is just a reality and it does not come down to hard work and discipline and dedication and focus and experience.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t, sometimes you just have a winner. Jon Jones’ highest level that he ever reached in wrestling was the National Junior College Championships and guess what? He won it.
“The highest level that he ever put himself into in mixed martial arts was a light heavyweight championship fight and guess what? He won it.
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“I do not think that Jon Jones is the world’s greatest boxer. I just don’t know (that) any boxer in the world can beat him.”