Jon Jones has taken criticism over his UFC 197 performance, but he doesn’t think it’s in any way representative of what’s going to happen moving forward.
“I was in jail the same month of my fight,” Jones commented during the UFC 200 press conference in New York (transcribed by FoxSports.com). “Just going through a lot of stuff. I hadn’t fought in over 15 months and everybody’s talking about my performance being so bad – I got punched twice. I won by unanimous decision so if that’s a bad performance look at the level people expect from me. It’s really not a bad problem to have.
“I went out there, I didn’t feel comfortable in the Octagon and I still absolutely dominated that fight. I believe everything happens for a reason. I got that ring rust off of me and I got right back to the strategy and the game plan that I originally had.”
He had been planning to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 197; now that fight will instead happen at UFC 200, and Jones feels supremely confident in his ability to win that fight.
“I believe I’m going to annihilate DC,” Jones said. “So far, it’s all I’ve ever done to every opponent. Alexander Gustafsson’s the only person who had a competitive fight with me. Expect to see a hell of a lot more out of me this next fight. I have a strong strategy for DC.
“I listened to him commentate my fight and I got to hear all the things he thinks he knows about me. You guys will see.”
Penick’s Analysis: There was so much going on into UFC 197 on top of the opponent change that you simply can’t read as much into the performance as Cormier has been. It’s not how Jones should be expected to perform moving forward. He still dominated Ovince Saint Preux, and if Cormier expects a lesser Jones at UFC 200, he may wind up getting beat much worse than he was at UFC 182.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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