Jon Jones is back and now he is the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Following a three-year layoff, the fighter often referred to as The Great proved why he is revered by his peers as he knocked out Cyril Gane in the first round to become the heavyweight champion and make himself a two-division champion in history. .
Jones looked as dominant as ever and it only took one takedown to snag a guillotine choke that trapped Gane with the cage before the Frenchman tapped out to end the fight at 2:04 of the opening round.
“I’m excited,” Jones said with the heavyweight title wrapped around his waist. “I have worked for this job for a long time. Many people thought that I would never even come back. I have stayed true to my purpose. I have remained faithful to the mission.
“I was confident that if I took him to the ground, the fight would be in my area. I’ve been fighting since I was 12 years old and I feel stronger and more comfortable, especially on the ground than ever before. I actually felt a little bad on my feet, it’s been a while. But once I got my hands on I knew later that I was very comfortable and in control.
Despite concerns about ring rust, Jones wasted no time in holding the center of the cage and putting pressure on Gane to close the distance and take away his best weapons on the feet. Gane tried to circle but Jones couldn’t give him any room to work.
From there, Jones quickly moved in to take the fight to the ground, and the demon would never get up again.
Jones was excellent in control as Gane tried to break free, continuing to move into new positions to prevent the breakaway. When Gane eventually turned to the house with his back, Jones saw an opening where he could slide his hand under his chin for a guillotine choke after mounting him.
With his Lyoto Machida fight dance in his head – except this time he was on the ground instead of standing – Jones tightened his submission and Gane had no choice but to leave the cage. It was an impressive performance from Jones, especially when he made quick work of Gaine in the first round.
Jones now joins Daniel Cormier and Randy Couture as fighters who hold both the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight titles.
It was a huge accomplishment for Jones, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be taking long to celebrate with plans set for his next fight at UFC 290 in July.
“Do you all want to see me beat up, Stipe?” Jones shouted to the crowd at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Stipe Miocic, I hope you’re training my man. You are the greatest heavyweight of all time and that’s what I want. I want you so bad.
Stoic, as usual, shrugged off Miocic as he sat on his head, but all signs point to the Ohio native setting up a long-awaited showdown with Jones later this year to capture the UFC heavyweight title.