Why does UFC star Jon Jones CRAWL towards opponents at the start of fights ahead of cage return versus Ciryl Gane? | The Sun
JON JONES returns to the octagon this weekend when he headlines UFC 285 – meaning his famous pre-fight crawl makes its comeback.
The 35-year-old has not fought since 2020 but will be back in action when he takes on Ciryl Gane in Las Vegas.
Jones is considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
And this time he is stepping up to make his long-awaited debut at heavyweight, with the UFC world title on the line.
But fans will be treated to his trademark routine before he grapples with his latest opponent.
Why does he crawl?
Ever since fighting Quinton Jackson in 2011, Jones has started his fights by crouching down on his haunches.
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It may look like a way of intimidating his rivals before entering battle – but it all started as superstition.
Jones revealed on Steve-O's Wild Ride podcast: "I kept having these nightmares before fighting Rampage Jackson that I would get knocked out, no matter how the fight played out I would get knocked out in the first 30 seconds.
"One scenario he ran at me and threw an overhand right, the other was a right uppercut and another dream was a left hook.
"I couldn’t avoid this inevitable knockout that I was going to experience. On fight night, I felt like I was going to get knocked out.
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"I felt I was this fighting thing that wasn’t earthly. I was able to hang on to this feeling and illusion of myself all the way through my walk to the cage.
"I felt like I walked into that Rampage Jackson fight as the feather man for the first time.
"My idea to crawl towards him was the only thing that hadn’t happened in my nightmares because every fight starts on the fight.
"Something was just like, ‘Get on your knees and crawl up to him’, then automatically the dream voids itself of him knocking you out immediately.
"So I did that and got to fight in this kind of alter-ego state, it was super powerful."
Who is he fighting?
Jones takes on French giant Gane at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 4.
Gane has an 11-1 pro MMA record after transitioning across from Muay Thai in 2018.
However, that solo defeat saw him miss out on the heavyweight championship when he faced Francis Ngannou in January 2022.
Why has he been out for three years?
Jones' last fight was his unanimous-decision win over Dominick Reyes way back in February 2020, defending his light-heavyweight crown.
However, 'Bones' took a lengthy break following a row over pay with UFC president Dana White.
During that time, the American has bulked up massively to compete with the biggest men in the sport.
What's his record?
Jones boasts a stunning record of 26-1-1, with his only defeat a first-round disqualification to Matt Hamill in 2009 before a no-contest with Daniel Cormier eight years later due to a failed drugs test.
He holds the record for the most successful UFC world title defences at 11 and had the longest light-heavyweight reign at 1501 days.
The New York fighter boats countless other UFC records including the most title-fight wins (14) and most light-heavyweight division victories (20).
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What are the odds?
Betfair are offering the following odds for the UFC 285 blockbuster…
- Jon Jones 4-7
- Ciryl Gane 11-8
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