Taking a fight on short notice is never an easy thing to do, even if you are the consensus best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So now that Jon “Bones” Jones and his coaches can rest assured they know who will be staring back across at him from the other side of the Octagon, “Team Bones” can enter into this championship bout, slated for UFC 200 on July 9, 2016, with the poise and confidence we’ve all become accustomed to seeing.
According to Mike Winkeljohn, Jones’ head coach at the renowned Jackson-Wink fight team, this familiar feeling of sufficient preparation is certainly going to make “Bones'” rematch with his increasingly bitter rival a much easier path to walk.
“We’ve already got the game plan put together – now it’s almost easier in some ways, because we continue working it.”
It’s hard to argue with that sentiment, seeing that Jones was still able to dominate the awkward and the oft difficult-to-prepare-for Ovince St. Preux on short notice after his original opponent, current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, pulled out of their scheduled UFC 197 fight due to a leg injury.
“Bones” admitted that his coaches had advised against taking the bout on such short notice, and Winkeljohn in particular said “OSP” would pose some issues with his physical stature and awkward stand-up style, but that didn’t appear to be much of a problem, as Jones handled the tough, athletic former University of Tennessee Volunteers football standout with relative ease.
However, now that Jones and company can get back to their usual routine and preparation, especially for an opponent against whom “Bones” has already competed and soundly beaten, Coach “Wink” has a sneaking suspicion that this trip to the Octagon is going to be a different story than was the ill-prepared scrap with “OSP” (even if Cormier himself may not think so).
“We’ve been training for it for a while, so I think it’s going to be an easier fight [than OSP was] for Jon…Jon is going to hit him with some really, really, really hard elbows.”
Somewhere in the United States, Brandon Vera is shuddering to himself, still haunted by the devastating elbow delivered by a 22 year old soon-to-be champion that nearly cracked the entire right side of his skull.
So if “DC” has learned anything from his previous meeting with Jones, and the rest of the bodies that “Bones'” has left in his wake, he’ll spend his night inside that Octagon on July 9 with his hands up, his chin down and his head and neck as far away as humanly possible from Jones’ terrifying clinch.
But no matter what, barring any injuries or visits to the Albuquerque police station, it’s safe to say that this much anticipated rematch between the consensus top two light heavyweights in the world will not disappoint.