Ahead of his Octagon comeback this weekend in the main event of UFC 285, former two-time undisputed light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones has questioned fan opinion of former interim heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane, doubting the French striker is the most technically proficient kickboxer he has faced during his career.

Headlining this Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, Nevada, look-see-do veteran, Jones will snap a three-year hiatus from the sport in a vacant heavyweight title fight against Gane, marking his first Octagon walk since February 2020.

In his most recent outing, Jones, a former Jackson-Wink MMA staple headlined against Dominick Reyes in Houston, Texas – nabbing a close, debated unanimous decision victory to lodge his final light heavyweight championship defense. 

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Jon Jones appears confident he’s faced more superior strikers than Ciryl Gane

And ahead of his return against Gane this weekend, Jones, who also narrowly defeated recent PFL (Professional Fighters League) acquisition, Thiago Santos during his second title reign, claims the Brazilian is a far more skilled striker than his upcoming foe.

Man, I just finished watching my Thiago Santos fight again,” Jon Jones tweeted. “I think it’s crazy that you guys consider (Ciryl) Gane the most technical kickboxer I’ve ever faced. Everything Thiago did have bad intentions on it. Dude had lightening speed, power, explosiveness. (And) Crazy versatility.” 

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Whilst insisting ahead of UFC 285 how he is not looking past former interim titleholder, Gane, Jones admitted that he has one eye on a first attempt heavyweight title defense against former two-time division gold holder, Stipe Miocic

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You know, Stipe Miocic would be a great challenge,” Jon Jones said. “Obviously, I’m not looking past Ciryl Gane – I’ve got a huge, huge order ahead of me. But Stipe Miocic is who I’ve got my eyes on. People consider him the greatest heavyweight of all time.

And the opportunity to compete against such a man, I’d be honored,” Jon Jones explained. “The opportunity to beat such a guy would be truly something special and that’s what I want to do. I want to solidify my legacy, and I know you have to fight the best guys out there. And as long as Stipe’s still in the game, that would be the next – that would be my next target.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.