Legendary mixed martial arts Jon Jones impressive first-round victory over Frenchman Cyril Gane to claim the UFC heavyweight crown on Saturday.
Former bantamweight champion Jones, returning to the Octagon after a three-year absence, forced Gane into a submission just 2 minutes 4 seconds into the round. start to seal the victory.
The 35-year-old American, widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, used both his skill and experience to defeat his 32-year-old French rival.
Jones spoke boldly before the fight of a quick victory over Gane, who showed nervousness in the opening seconds by kicking the American in the groin that required a timeout.
Jones proved to be as good as his word, easily ducking a wild left hand from Gane and wrestling the off-balance Frenchman to the floor with ease.
He quickly got Gane in trouble and the Parisian submitted after being caught in a guillotine chokehold by Jones.
“I’ve been working for this for a long time,” said a happy Jones after his win.
“You know a lot of people thought I wouldn’t come back. I always read ‘This guy won’t come back’ – but I was true to my goal, true to my mission.”
Jones said while he was wary of Gane’s strength on his feet – the former French kick-boxer – he was confident he would win if he ended up on the canvas. the fight.
“I had a strong belief that if I could take him down the fight would be in my area,” Jones said.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was 12 years old and I feel strong and confident, especially on the ground.
“With kickboxers you never know – he zigs, I zag. And I really felt a little goofy in my legs – it’s been a while.
“But as soon as I got my hands on him I realized that I was the most comfortable and in control.”
Gane left disappointed, saying he didn’t do himself justice.
“Yes, he is disappointed,” said Gane. “But the thing that makes me angry the most is myself, really angry.
“Because, yes, we accepted this fight (in a short time), but we worked a lot and spent a lot of time with sparring partners, I’m really angry with myself.
“This is the first real loss I’ve had… I’m going to go straight back to the gym and work on my ground game.”
The one-sided victory after a long layoff cements Jones’ right to be considered the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
The veteran walked away from the sport in August 2020, relinquishing his light heavyweight crown and vowing to bulk up for one last assault on the heavyweight division.
He arrived for Saturday’s contest as the owner of several UFC records including longest undefeated streak (18 wins), most wins in fights (14) and more then won the defense of the championship (11).
After his victory, Jones immediately called out heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic – with a fight between the two men almost certain to take place in July.
“Stipe Miocic is a competitor,” Jones told ESPN after Saturday’s win.
“He has a background in wrestling and is a very strong fighter and he knows how to win a fight. Me and my team take him very seriously. yes.
“But he’s going to need every ounce of himself to get through this — and he’s not going to get there. He has my undivided attention.”