Joe Rogan still sees greatness in Jon Jones.
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC), a former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion, has not competed since a successful – albeit controversial – title against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. He subsequently relinquished the belt to pursue a move to heavyweight.
Aside from a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in a fight he was dominating back in December 2009, Jones has never lost in MMA.
He’s gearing up for a new chapter at heavyweight, but it’s been 31 months since he’s been in the octagon, with no return date scheduled. Jones defended his 205 title eight consecutive times, but a slew of legal issues and failed drug tests have halted his momentum on numerous occasions.
Despite all his setbacks outside the octagon, though, longtime UFC commentator Rogan has faith that Jones will rise to the top again.
“The highest fight IQ maybe ever, right up there with ‘Mighty Mouse’ (Demetrious Johnson),” Rogan said of Jones on a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “He’s a wild man. I had a conversation with Jon when all that sh*t was going down and I said, ‘Listen dude.’ I called him up, I’m like, ‘You are a wild motherf*cker and that’s the type of guy that becomes the greatest of all time.’
“You don’t get to be the greatest of all time just being a normal person. I go that’s just who you are. I know you made mistakes, I know you’ve done stupid sh*t, but you’re still the greatest motherf*cker of all time and you could show the world. Bounce back from this and show the world.”
Jones has bulked up into a heavyweight frame, but is yet to make his divisional debut. He has been linked to bouts with former champion Stipe Miocic and current champion Francis Ngannou, but no date for his return has been inked.
“It’s taken a long time (for Jones to make his heavyweight debut), but now he’s 253 pounds, solid as a rock,” Rogan said. “Giant, huge back… yeah, his brothers are all super athletes.”
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie