While Jon Jones was riding the bench, stripped of his title and suspended after being arrested for a hit and run incident involving a pregnant woman, much was made of his new focus on power lifting. The regularly controversial Bones Jones pared his social media accounts down to endless shots of him lifting more and more weight. It was an impressive display, and people wondered how the training would help an already dominant Jones perform once he returned to the Octagon.
That return came at UFC 197 against late replacement Ovince Saint-Preux, and the performance Jones turned in would be one of his most lackluster. Jon would win, but by decision against a fighter many felt he should have been able to finish. What was behind the sluggish performance? Ring rust? Power lifting? If changes to his camp are any indication, it seems like weight lifting is now out of the equation.
“For this training camp, I’ve done almost zero weightlifting whatsoever,” Jones said during a media event in Los Angeles. “In my last fight, it definitely played a factor in me being conservative and conserving the way I used my energy. I felt like I was in good shape, my lungs were strong, but I felt like my muscle endurance maybe wasn’t in the right place.”
Jones has been working at getting rid of what he feels is excess muscle he built up during his power lifting phase.
“I’ve actually been focusing on burning off muscle by doing overloading on endurance. I think you’ll be able to tell in the weigh-ins and during the fight that I’ll look a lot more like the way I used to look, a lot less bulky. My endurance feels amazing!”
That’s bad news for Daniel Cormier, who was Jones’ original opponent for UFC 197. He may have been able to take advantage of the issues Jones exhibited during the Ovince Saint-Preux fight, but it sounds like Jones has already seen them and worked to close them up. Which just makes his mission to dethrone the man many still consider the king of light heavyweights all the more difficult.