But Jones’ long sabbatical and body transformation seemed almost irrelevant once he was in the Octagon, as he defeated Gane with a guillotine choke after just two minutes and four seconds in Las Vegas.
The 35-year-old American is now a two-weight UFC champion with 27 UFC wins to his name and remains undefeated since 2009, underlining his credentials to be regarded as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
Jones has transformed his body during the last three years, weighing in at 248lbs for Saturday’s main event, compared to the 204lbs he weighed for his last fight in 2020.
“When I was a light heavyweight, people would say Jon is a lot stronger than what he appears to be,” Jones told reporters after the fight.
“Now that I have been powerlifting and living a martial arts lifestyle, I really truly believe I am the strongest heavyweight in the heavyweight division. Some of my best performances are going to be coming in the next few years.”
Already in his post-fight press conference, Jones was looking ahead to his next bout against two-time heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
“My whole world is going to be focused on him,” Jones said. “This is the biggest opportunity in my life to beat the heavyweight GOAT and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
In the co-main event, meanwhile, Alexa Grasso secured a surprise victory over Valentina Shevchenko, who had not lost a fight since 2017, in the fourth round to become Mexico’s first ever female UFC champion.