Although at the Bellator 260 he was the coach of Aaron Pico, Jackson Winkeljohn Hall’s head coach, Brandon Gibson, can hardly escape the fact that he is a man who has cared for Jon Jones for years. In fact, he is the man who created him alongside Greg Jackson and with whom the former UFC's most successful champion has a special relationship.
In an interview for MMA Fighting, he focused on Jones and what follows in his career. He confirmed that the transition to the heavyweight category is being seriously worked on, but neither he could give even an approximate date when the transition could officially take place in the form of a fight in the Octagon.
"Jon is the most dominant champion in UFC history. He holds that title record, but this goal, to become a heavyweight champion, has kindled a fire in all of us." "It doesn't matter if it happens in a couple of months or in more than a year.
Jon is 33 years old and I feel he is still not at a heavyweight peak." "We will take as much time as we need. We will do it the right way because we need to make a few more business decisions that are outside my field of work.
My job is to treat Jon Jones as a professional athlete, a professional fighter and a great champion as he really is all the time, "said Gibson, adding that he has never seen Jones so focused and that he sees exactly where his fighter could progress the most:
"The biggest area where I see room for his progress is to be an athlete 365 days a year.
He needs to be inspired by people like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who continued to have great success in their mid or late thirties." "See what it takes to do something like that, and Jon has that in him. He has achieved great success in his twenties, a great series in the light heavyweight category.
His focus now is not just on becoming a heavyweight champion, he wants to dedicate himself completely as a professional athlete." "I don't think we've seen his most dangerous version. It's coming soon and it will be bigger and better than any Jones so far.
" Having already mentioned Jones ’33 years, then he fully explained what exactly he meant by stating that Jon is still very young for a heavyweight. "There aren't a lot of heavyweights who were successful in their twenties.
A lot of great heavyweight champions actually got the best results in their late thirties or even forties." "The heavyweight is a slightly different game than other MMA categories offer. Looking at Jon's strength, size and skill set and the repertoire he has, if we know that he puts it all in the heavyweight division, he will shake things up there."
"We are not just looking at the heavyweight belt. We are looking at defending it and defending it, as we did in the light heavyweight division, "he confirmed.