Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is spending his layoff from the Octagon developing his striking power.
With his mixed martial arts (MMA) future still up in the air following a second ban for illegal substances, the 31-year old is using his time to improve his finishing ability.
Jones’ striking coach Brandon Gibson made the claims while talking to the MMA Hour.
“I think there’s still a lot of growth possible,” Gibson said of the disgraced former champ. “Jon’s in his 30s now.”
“I think he’s really starting to develop the one-strike knockout power, we saw that in the last (Cormier) fight. Before that, Jon was like a break ‘em down, break ‘em down, break ‘em down, finish, where guys were never just out cold, unconscious. I think now Jon’s really developing a lot of power for 205 and he’s gonna really start putting guys to sleep.”
Ive defeated every man whos ever stood across from me inside the cage. The man in the mirror is a different story. The more I work the more I find his strengths & weaknesses. Im going to win this fight. I will be King again. I will not be denied #MeditationMonday #ComebackSeason
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 6, 2018
Jones has been out of action since testing positive for Turinabol in the aftermath of his second victory over current light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017, but his team believe it could actually be a good thing when he eventually returns to the Octagon.
“He’s had long periods of breaks,” Gibson said. “There was a long layoff before the first DC fight. There was a long layoff to the [Ovince Saint Preux] fight. There was a long layoff to the DC two match.”
“But I also think that this is a game where guys are paying too high of a price in training camps and sparring leading up to fights, so Jon’s layoff definitely has some benefits. But the lack of competition could also be a hindrance at times, so it’s gonna be a balance, but we never have a problem getting Jon Jones fired up.
“He’s a special champion, he has a very special mindset, and he’ll get in there and I believe reclaim everything that he ever had and more. I told him the other day that I think greatness and his legacy continue to await us. We’re not there yet.”