Jon Jones’s former training partner Leonid Grachev just talked about training with the UFC legend.
Grachev is a boxer with a 5-0 record, who has been training with Jones since 2018. He gave an interview, in which he revealed some interesting insight into Jones’s training and mindset.
He revealed that Jones camp had to repeatedly recalibrate depending on which opponent they were planning to face.
“We were preparing for Ngannou, Stipe, Ngannou again, and now for Cyril Gane.”
The host asked him if Jones was afraid of facing Ngannou. Grachev said he felt like Jones was afraid of getting knocked out.
“It’s funny to say fear, but it’s a kind of excessive respect.”
“I think that even if he didn’t say anything, he was afraid. Maybe not afraid, but he had a notion that he would wake up after such a blow.”
He recalled how Jones was afraid of facing the late Anthony Johnson. Jones was scheduled to face the knockout artist but the bout was canceled after he got into legal issues.
Grachev feels like Ngannou struck even more fear into Jones since he avoided a KO artist earlier in his career.
“I remember that he told me a long time ago that he was supposed to fight Rumble Johnson. He was very nervous because Rumble had just knocked everyone out. So I can assume that Jon was worried about Ngannou.”
Jones is now set to face Cyril Gane at UFC 285 after Ngannou left the UFC. Grachev said that Jones is more optimistic about his chances against Gane.
“I think that he felt better psychologically. He was more technical.”
Grachev said that he’s confident of Jones’s chances against Gane:
“Jon’s control in the fight is unreal, and I think it will help him a lot.”
Grachev added that Jones has “become much stronger” since he moved to heavyweight.
“And you can feel his power when you work with him. He has become much stronger. Yes, much better than he was when he was 93 kg (205 pounds).”
There are many who are doubting Jones thanks to his long time away from the cage. However, Grachev says that he continued training during his inactivity.
“When he broke up with Jackson Wink, he continued training with his coaches.”
“[Jones] did not rest for these 3 years. He worked out a lot, brought different lifters to help him with programs, and gained weight. He also worked with his fighters.”
The Russian boxer added that Jones is enjoying his training sessions and is “preparing well.”
“When I train with him now, he is in a good mood. He is interested in training. He has a lot of energy.”
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.