Fellow UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall weighs in how well Jon Jones will fare in the heavyweight division

In two weeks, Ciryl Gane will compete against UFC legend Jon Jones for the vacant heavyweight title. “Bon Gamin” is a former interim champion who lost the opportunity to win the undisputed title in January to former champion Francis Ngannou, who recently left the UFC and vacated his title. Tom Aspinall, a surging contender in the division, recently offered his take on Jones’ move to the heavyweight division.

Tom Aspinall
Tom Aspinall

Tom Aspinall wonders if the physical attributes of Jon Jones will afford him the same advantages at heavyweight. Now that Jones is making his heavyweight debut against Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285 on March 4, Aspinall is uncertain whether he will be able to utilize his wrestling as effectively against the Frenchman, despite having a significant reach advantage.

“Jon Jones is an amazing wrestler,” Aspinall said in an interview with Jamal Niaz. “The massive advantage he has amongst the light heavyweights is he’s got a massive reach advantage. So he gets a lot of his takedowns with the length of his arms and the leverage that he gets behind his takedowns. I’m not discrediting his wrestling – his wrestling is amazing. But I’m saying the leverage he gets with his size advantage is incredible at light heavyweight, whereas at heavyweight, he’s an average size heavyweight.” [via/ MMA Junkie]

“He’s 6-(foot)-4, I think, so he’s pretty much average size, average height heavyweight, at least. I don’t know if he’ll be able to get the same leverage against someone his height. It’s yet to be seen. But Gane is a niche heavyweight. He’s not a standard heavyweight. Like, his footwork is really good. His judge of distance is really good.”

Gane’s speed, technique, and footwork are unparalleled among heavyweights, which has rendered all his opponents immobile. Although Jones is returning from a layoff of more than three years, Aspinall believes the promotion to a higher division could be a factor:

“I don’t think the inactivity would affect someone like Jon Jones because he’s had like 50 million title fights,” Aspinall said. “He’s had so much experience, a few years off won’t affect him. I think more (that will) affect him is carrying his own weight and carrying someone else’s weight who’s really mobile like Ciryl Gane. If Ciryl Gane was more of a plodding heavyweight, more of a flat-footed guy, he would have a lot of an easier time than he would someone like Ciryl.”

Ciryl Gane wasn’t training before fight against Jon Jones was announced

Ciryl Gane called himself “lazy” for not getting in shape before his UFC championship bout with Jon Jones was announced.

In two weeks, Gane, 32, will face the legendary Jones in a fight for the vacant heavyweight title in the UFC. “Bon Gamin” is a former interim champion who missed out on a shot at the undisputed title in January after losing to former undisputed titleholder Francis Ngannou, who recently severed company with the UFC and forfeited his title.

After knocking out Tai Tuivasa in Paris in September to set up a title bout with Jones, which was officially confirmed last month, Gane made the shocking admission that he had not trained in months.

Speaking to La Sueur, Gane stated:

“I only train when a fight is announced. I had my fight against Tuivasa, barely trained since then, and now I’m back it since the Jones fight has been announced. If I look back at my career, this a regret. I love grappling but unfortunately I’m lazy, that’s the truth. I only train when a fight is announced. I have a lot of media obligations. Professional opportunities outside of the sport. You can’t say no to all these things. I also have to give time to my family, rest well.”

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