Jon Jones is the new pound-for-pound king of UFC.
“Bones” reclaimed the top spot by submitting Ciryl Gane in the UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) main event earlier this month in Las Vegas, his first win in more than three years as well as his first victory in the heavyweight class.
The return of Jones sent former No. 1 fighter and current featherweight kingpin, Alex Volkanovski, down to No. 2, one spot ahead of lightweight champion Islam Makhachev despite losing to the Dagestani wrestler at UFC 284 in Perth.
“Everyone loves talking about it,” Volkanovski told Steve-O’s Wild Ride! “It’s a big deal. I’ll be honest with you, [becoming] a champion was great, being pound-for-pound No. 1 [was greater], which Jon Jones took that from me. I don’t think with all of the [rankings], but the UFC, yes. It was just that one [fight in three years], but what he did, moving up — at least he moved up and showed that pound-for-pound comes into play.”
Jones previously held the light heavyweight title, making him the only fighter on the pound-for-pound list to move up in weight and capture a second crown. Other champions on the chart have tried and failed including Volkanovski and his teammate, Israel Adesanya (No. 6).
No. 15-ranked Max Holloway also came up short in his quest back in 2019.
“The body of work that we’ve done in the last three years, obviously, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Look what Alex has done in the last three years.’ You can get that, but at the same time, look at what Jon Jones has done as well,” Volkanovski continued. “Can I really argue that? He’s gonna be one of the greatest of all time. For him to take that is like, ‘Damn it! What do you do?’”
You keep winning and hope “Bones” breaks.
Volkanovski (25-2) will get that opportunity when he battles interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez to unify the straps later this year. As for Jones (27-1, 1 NC), he’s expected to make his first heavyweight title defense against former champion Stipe Miocic in July.
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