“Already He’s LeBron James?” Jon Jones Shoots Down Jordan-LeBron Analogy Ahead of UFC 285

Jon Jones, UFC 285
Jon Jones, UFC 285 press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Jon Jones has not been dismissive of Ciryl Gane ahead of the pair’s heavyweight title fight this Saturday at UFC 285.

“Bones” has consistently complimented the French heavyweight’s footwork, in particular, while questioning his cardio — pretty much standard pre-fight fare.

He seemed just a little surprised, however, at the suggestion during the UFC 285 pre-fight press conference on Thursday that Gane was the LeBron James to Jones’ Michael Jordan. A next generation talent facing arguably the greatest of all time, in other words.

“Ciryl’s LeBron James? Already he’s LeBron James?” Jones questioned, somewhat taken aback. “How did he get to LeBron James status?”

Gane has fought for the UFC heavyweight championship once before, and is a former interim champion in the promotion. Still, it’s a hard sell to position him as MMA’s LeBron, a sentiment Jones echoed.

“You hear Ciryl talking about wanting to win this fight to considered the GOAT. It just doesn’t work that way,” said Jones. “It doesn’t work that way.”

While the Jones of years past (or Twitter Jon Jones, perhaps) might have had more to say, Jones took the high road Thursday.

“I’m honored that people consider me to be in that class of athlete. It means the world to me, and my job is just to try to stay as humble as I can, continue to work hard, stay focused, and let the people decide who’s Jordan, who’s LeBron and things like this,” he stated. “I’m just going to keep working hard, I’m going to keep giving glory to God, and I’m going to just keep doing my best. That’s always worked out for me.”

Earlier in the press conference, which had everyone from Jones to Bo Nickal to Shavkat Rakhmonov on hand, Jones told Cageside Press that he felt a higher power was behind his success.

“I really do believe he has his hand in my life. I really do. There’s being talented, and then there’s being God-gifted,” said Jones.

Jon Jones returns after a three-year absence to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title at UFC 285 this Saturday, March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV.


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