Georges St-Pierre believes in Jon Jones’ heavyweight experiment.
“I saw it on the red carpet when they put me in [UFC] Hall of Fame. I took a picture and hugged him, I was like, “Dude, he’s rock hard.” It’s huge,” St-Pierre recently told MMA Fighting. “Jon Jones, he’s tough as a rock, he looked huge.
“And it seemed like he put the weight in the right place. I can not wait. I’m a Jon Jones fan, I love watching him fight. I can’t wait for him to return. Many people say, “Yes, he was away for a long time.” He’s been gone for a long time, but he’s Jon Jones, you know what I mean? Don’t forget he’s Jon Jones. He is also arguably the best fighter of all time. He may come back and I think he will succeed when he does.”
St. Pierre and Jones are widely regarded as two of the greatest fighters ever to compete. The two have ruled their UFC divisions for years, with St-Pierre making nine consecutive defenses of his welterweight title from 2007 to 2013, and Jones amassing 11 defenses of his light heavyweight belt over two reigns from 2011 to 2020.
Jones, 35, has been inactive since vacating his 205-pound title in February 2020, having spent that time gradually building up mass in preparation for his long-awaited move up to heavyweight. UFC officials have set their sights on his return in December at UFC 282, either in a heavyweight title fight against Francis Ngannou or an interim title fight against former two-time champion Stipe Miocic, and recently, the Bones have publicly called Miocic. agreed to a potential fight at UFC 282, emphasizing that he is “ready to compete.”
St-Pierre is no stranger to putting on weight to challenge for a second belt after a long hiatus. The UFC Hall of Famer returned memorably after a four-year hiatus in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping to capture the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 217.
St-Pierre suffered subsequent health problems as a result of the move up to the heavier weight class, but he suspects that Jones handled the transition more gracefully.
“I did wrong,” St. Pierre said. “I was trying to gain weight. I cooked myself for a long time, tried to eat and get fat, but with stress [on my body] it creates problems. If I had to do it again, if I could go back and tell young George before he tries to gain weight, I would tell him to just stay away. [you were] at your natural weight, because you will not have health problems and will perform even better. But some guys have different abilities.
“It’s hard for me to gain weight, that’s my body; some guys find it easier to gain weight, depending on whether you’re an endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph. A lot of guys have different tools, different ways to do it, and it’s easier for them.”
See St-Pierre’s full interview above.