Jon Jones is closing in on his return to the Octagon and is looking bigger than ever as he prepares for his first run at the UFC’s heavyweight division later this year.
The American has undergone quite the body transformation since joining the MMA leader in 2008 and going on to become, in the eyes of many, the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.
The Prospect 2008-2010
Jones joined the UFC in 2008 after picking up six wins during his first four months as a professional MMA fighter.
The 21-year-old prospect scored a unanimous decision win over André Gusmão in his UFC debut before facing off against Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar and earning another decision win.
At 6ft4 and 205lbs, he was nothing short of a specimen. On top of that, Jones also boasts an 84inch reach, which can only be matched by the very biggest heavyweight fighters.
Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history when he easily dispatched of Shogun Rua in 2011.
By 2013, Jones looked untouchable and appeared to have taken out every relevant name in the division before facing Alexander Gustafsson in what many believed to be a mismatch.
In the aftermath of his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015, Jones was stripped of his light-heavyweight after he was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run.
THE COMEBACK 2016-2020
After being stripped of his title he began his road back to the top in a fight against Ovince St Preux for an interim 205lb belt, beating the long-time contender over five rounds to set up a unification with Cormier who had become champ in his absence.
The light-heavyweight king again failed a drug test, testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid, Turinabol. Jones was hit with a four-year ban but it was later reduced to 15 months.
During this time, fans begin to question Jones. His reputation was destroyed and his physique, which fans used to attribute to perfect genetics and hard work, was now believed to be the result of a cocktail of illegal drugs and years of cheating.
MOVING ON UP 2020 – 2022
Since then, Jones has relinquished his 205lb strap and announced his intention to move up to heavyweight, in a move that has excited MMA fans around the world.
Unfortunately, the UFC star’s move up in weight has been delayed by a financial dispute
with the MMA leader but Jones has appeared to be in no rush as he works on bulking up to compete with the elite heavyweight fighters who can weigh as much as 265lbs.
It seems that his financial dispute with the UFC has been resolved and Jones is expected to make his divisional debut against former champion Stipe Miocic in September.