Jon Jones continues to creep up pound-for-pound rankings despite not fighting in three years
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The release of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings threw up some surprises upon their release this week.
Fans were shocked to see Alexander Volkanovski retain his number-one position despite losing to the number-two-ranked Islam Makhachev.
The matchup was billed as Makhachev’s lightweight title on the line against Volkanovski’s number-one ranking.
But the tightly fought nature of the fight meant the Australian kept his spot.
And although this was somewhat surprising, there was perhaps another fighter on the list that has crept up under the radar.
The imminently returning Jon Jones hit the top ten on the P4P rankings.
Anyone else besides Ovin notice Jones creeping up the P4P despite being gone three years? 🧐😂 pic.twitter.com/rnRnEjl0dr— MMA On Point (@OnPointMMA) February 14, 2023
This comes despite the heavyweight championship challenger not fighting in over three years since February 2020.
It seems to indicate that perhaps the rankings aren’t the be-all-and-end-all in the UFC, especially after the commotion Islam not taking top spot has caused.
The former light heavyweight champion was ranked #1 until October 4, 2021, before Kamaru Usman knocked him off the top spot.
He has progressively slipped down the rankings over the past two years.
With Jones set to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 285 some are predicting that the 35-year-old will jump to number one if he were to win.
One fan wrote: “Mad that this P4P #1 spot will only last three weeks until Jon Jones returns.”
Another said: “At this point, the P4P #1 is a joke, didn’t really matter if Islam or Volk got it because Jon Jones was about to take it back within 3 weeks.”
A third tweeted: “Let’s be real if Jon Jones is active, he’s the p4p #1…”
A fourth added: “The only person in the UFC that has any business being P4P #1 is Jon Jones.”
When Jon Jones beats Gane and takes the #1 P4P spot less than a month after Islam gets it pic.twitter.com/pK3Qovt0wK— Fonzo (@FonzoMMA) February 8, 2023
If Jon Jones beats ciryl @alexvolkanovski going up to HW to keep his P4P 😭— ⛓⛓⛓⛓⛓ (@NedsWorld) February 14, 2023
This argument over who should be P4P #1 is hilarious because Jon Jones is back in three weeks and it’ll all be irrelevant— Omz (@Omario_Ali) February 14, 2023
Fair to say… Jon Jones is the P4P #1 fighter in the world of the UFC— Cody Merrow (@cody_merrow) February 12, 2023
The MMA star overtook Jiri Prochazka in the rankings despite the Polish fighter going 3-0 since Jones last competed.
But it seems despite being away from the game for quite some time now, many still believe Jon Jones is the best in the world.
Jones vacated his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship following a conflict with Dana White over his earnings.
He also expressed his desire to move up to the heavyweight division.