After seeing Jon Jones’ pre-training camp picture, it’s safe to say the UFC light heavyweight champ has a lot of work to do in preparation for Alexander Gustafsson when they meet in the Octagon Sept. 21 in Toronto.
Jones, who is known for packing on pounds between camps, tweeted a photo of himself on Monday posing with a massive chunk of flab on his midsection and a huge grin on his face. The photo has elicited some fairly entertaining responses from Jones’ followers, including UFC middleweight Derek Brunson.
In two months, Jones will be defending the light heavyweight title against Gustafsson at UFC 165, and the MMA world is already on edge after Anderson Silva’s shocking loss—his first in the UFC—to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 earlier this month.
Jones’ tweet will likely raise eyebrows and draw questions of whether he’s taking Gustafsson seriously.
Since his loss to Phil Davis back in April 2010, Gustafsson has rebounded to take the UFC light heavyweight division by storm. He is currently riding a six-fight win streak, coming off a lopsided unanimous decision victory over former UFC champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Jones being so out of shape could have something to do with lingering issues from the gruesome toe injury he suffered in his UFC 159 win over Chael Sonnen. During a press conference for UFC 165, Jones admitted that his toe wasn’t completely healed, and he still needed to wear a boxing boot while training to limit any chances of a setback.
He also spoke about Silva’s loss and how it served as a reality check for his approach and preparation for Gustafsson:
It actually motivates me a lot to watch somebody who I look up to like that lose. It's just like a reality check. I try to keep my ego in check when it comes to the fight game, and watching Anderson lose like that …
First of all, it's something I would never do, put my hands down like that and try to fight my opponent that way. But watching Chris Weidman’s dream come true, I have to make sure that I continue to be a dream crusher. So that’s what I’m going to do.
But will Jones stay true to his word?
The young champ still has a couple of months to get everything in order, but whether that will be enough time remains to be seen.