While Jon Jones has fought four time in the past five years, his coach Brandon Gibson feels that the time away has been beneficial to the former UFC light heavyweight champion.
“He’s not getting his brains battered in,” Gibson told The MMA Hour. “He’s not getting concussions. He’s taking care of his body and his mind, and this is such a — at this top one percent, these guys are tough. He has a long fight career ahead of him still, and he really feels like this time off has prolonged his career that much more.”
Since 2015, Jones has been suspended or under investigation for various failed drug tests (UFC 200 and UFC 214 both against Daniel Cormier), and run ins with the law including a hit and run involving a pregnant woman in New Mexico.
While the reasons why Jones was on the sidelines may not be beneficial, Gibson told Luke Thomas that the time will give Jones longevity insider the Octagon.
“If he was still fighting three to five times a year like he was when he was younger, I think that will burn guys out early,” Gibson said. “I think that’s where you start seeing the guys in their mid-thirties that are slow, that are not reacting, that can’t pull the trigger, that just aren’t recognizing things like they used to, and I think a lot of that comes with just the toll of the training camps in addition to the fights.”
Jones returns to face Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Quotes Transcribed by MMA Mania