Dan Hardy doubts Jon Jones’ chance of success at heavyweight: ‘He gives up his natural advantages’

Jon Jones Dan Hardy UFC 285

Ahead of his upcoming UFC 285 headliner against Ciryl Gane on March 4, former undisputed light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones has been warned about the potential adversity he’ll face at the heavyweight limit, with Octagon alum, Dan Hardy claiming the Rochester native gives up an abundance of his “natural advantages” in his move from 205lbs.

Jones, a former two-time undisputed light heavyweight titleholder, has been sidelined since February 2020, most recently defeating Dominick Reyes in a close, unanimous decision victory in Houston, Texas.

In the time since, Jones has yet to make a long-awaited heavyweight debut, however, given the recent departure of division champion, Francis Ngannou, Jones has now been booked to headline UFC 285 in a heavyweight bow for the vacant title against the aforenoted, Gane.

Dan Hardy breaks down Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut in March

Ahead of the move, Jones, who has been touted to likely find similar success to his gold-laden run at light heavyweight – a division lower, however, former UFC welterweight championship challenger, Hardy, has claimed the former is giving up advantageous plays to his game with the move.

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“We don’t know how he’s going to perform with the bigger frame,” Dan Hardy said of Jon Jones during an interview with MMA Junkie. “Of course, he’s got the height and reach for heavyweight. He could quite easily grow into heavyweight, but then would he be the same fighter he was at light heavyweight? The times that he struggled at light heavyweight is when he was taking on someone that had similar physical attributes.”

“Remember the first (Alexander) Gustafsson fight, that was very problematic for him to being with,” Jon Jones explained. “Dominick Reyes was a pain for him at times, and I feel like Jon gives up a lot of his natural advantages that he had at light heavyweight when he moves to heavyweight.” 
Tackling Gane on March 4. at the T-Mobile Arena, Jones’ stylistic matchup against the Frenchman may present him some problems according to Nottingham veteran, Hardy.

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“Like Ciryl Gane’s 6ft 4in, 79-inch reach or something like that, but it’s going to be comparable to Jon Jones in ways that say a Daniel Cormier wasn’t back at light heavyweight,” Dan Hardy explained. “And the say Ciryl Gane moves is like light heavyweights did when Jon Jones was champion – the better ones. I think this is going to be a real challenge for him, and it’s difficult to kind of picture Jon Jones in a real heavyweight frame. What does he move like? What techniques has he abandoned? Is he going to have anxiety associated with because now he feels like he fills up with lactate and his muscles start to burn?”

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“We know how good Ciryl Gane is, and the reason why he’s so good is because he does a lot of things Jon Jones did so well at light heavyweight,” Hardy said. “I almost think it would have been easier for Jones to take on (Francis) Ngannou, because at least you know what you’re getting. When he starts to move, you got to get out of the way. But Ciryl Gane stops never stops moving, so you can’t always stay out of the way, and we’ve seen Jon Jones kind of get outpointed a little bit at times by people that have got a good work rate and a long reach.”