After over three years outside the cage, the man many consider to be the greatest UFC fighter of all time Jon ‘Bones’ Jones will finally make his return.
This time, the former light heavyweight champion will be moving up a division to heavyweight when he takes on Frenchman Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 for the vacant title on Saturday.
In the last week, photos of Jones have been emerging online looking quite literally double the size he did at his light heavyweight peak.
Despite this, everyone on the internet has been making the same comment; Jones forgot to do leg day in the last three years.
The size of Jon Jones’ legs at heavyweight
A photo comparison between Jones in 2019 and Jones now shows this most clearly as despite his upper body being noticeably larger, his legs look much the same. This is despite Jones’ fighting game being traditionally based around his kicking and wrestling strength rather than his pure punching power.
Of course, despite the photos, there is no doubt that during his training in the last couple of years, Jones has certainly been adequately training his legs.
As per his training team and coach Jordan Chavez, the American can now squat nearly 600 pounds and is also able to squat 500 pounds five times in succession. He can also now bench 315 pounds five times and deadlift 500 pounds 15 times.
To maintain and grow his strength and gain weight, Jones has been eating around 5,000 calories per day, involving a diet predominantly made up of carbohydrates and meat that even included eating rice for breakfast.
Jon Jones finally to make heavyweight debut
Jones’ step up to heavyweight has been years in the making with the now 35-year-old even talking about it all the way back in 2012 during a question and answer with Dana White.
“I’ll definitely move up to heavyweight, but it’ll probably be around 2013. Maybe at the end of 2013,” Jones said.
Despite this talk, Jones has remained in the light heavyweight division where he has completely dominated, breaking numerous records in between. Included among these records are the joint most title defences with 11 and a ridiculous 1,501-day streak as the 205-pound title holder.
According to those training Jones ahead of his heavyweight debut, he has managed to maintain his speed and agility despite the huge increase in weight. Maybe it is a good thing it looks like he skipped leg day after all if his legs can still move the same way at heavyweight as they did at light heavyweight.
On Saturday, Jones could become just the eighth fighter to win titles in two separate divisions and in doing so, he could further cement his legacy as one of the greats.
One thing fans will certainly be looking out for after these recent photos is how his kicking game is. If Jones has truly kept the athleticism that made him so formidable at light heavyweight, then he can easily be equally dominant at this higher weight category.