On July 29, in the main event of UFC 214, light heavyweight great Jon Jones will attempt to reclaim the title he once guarded so ferociously when he takes on the reigning champ and his biggest rival, Daniel Cormier.
In advance of this fight, Jones’ striking coach Mike Winkeljohn says that Jones – who has always been an innovator when it comes to technique – is still adding new weapons to his arsenal.
“[JONES]’S COMING IN WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE,” WINKELJOHN SAID ON MONDAY’S EDITION OF THE MMA HOUR (VIAMMAFIGHTING.COM). “I’M GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT, JON’S COMING IN AND HE’S FINDING NEW WAYS TO HIT PEOPLE WITH ELBOWS. HE KEEPS BRINGING THEM REAL CLOSE TO PEOPLE’S FACES AND THEN JUST STOPPING WITH A SMILE, AND CONTINUING ON WITH THE PROCESS. SO HE’S GOT SOME NEW THINGS THAT ARE EVEN MEANER FOR DANIEL THIS FIGHT.”
While there was some debate as to whether Jones deserved an immediate title shot after his long layoff and various personal troubles, Winkeljohn then explained that he’s glad his fighter got the opportunity.
“I LOVE THAT HE’S FIGHTING FOR THE BELT,” HE SAID. “I DON’T THINK HE HAD ANY NEED FOR A TUNE-UP FIGHT TO FIGHT DANIEL CORMIER. I THINK AS MUCH AS I DO RESPECT DANIEL, I THINK THIS IS A GOOD FIGHT FOR JON, BECAUSE THE FIRST TIME DANIEL COULDN’T TAKE HIM DOWN. JON WAS ABLE TO TAKE HIM DOWN. JON WAS ABLE TO BEAT HIM EVERYWHERE, AND I THINK THAT PLAYS INTO OUR FAVOR WITH THIS FIGHT.
“WE CAN EXPAND ON THAT AND CHANGE SOME THINGS THAT DANIEL WILL TRY, SO THAT HE FAILS ONCE AGAIN.”
Finally, Winkeljohn assured that the once troubled Jones is now on the up-and-up.
“HE’S ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW,” HE SAID. “I WOULD SAY JON JONES, NOBODY BEATS JON JONES BUT HIMSELF. AND HE’S BEEN FOCUSED IN TRAINING CAMP AND THROUGH LAST WEEK ON THE RIGHT THINGS. SO WITH THAT BEING SAID, SHOULD BE A GREAT FIGHT FOR JON.”
Do you think Jon Jones will reclaim light heavyweight gold at UFC 214?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 6/13/2017.