If you’ve watched Jon Jones’s career long enough, you’ll have seen his meteoric rise in the Light Heavyweight division over his MMA career. But Jones’s body type often seems unusual to many spectators.
Inside Jon’s almost-undefeated record, he has repeatedly shown that he can pick apart opponents and even out-wrestle them with skinny legs, especially calves that look as thin as an ankle (as Joe Rogan has commented).
In this article, I’m going to look into why Jon Jones calves are so thin compared to the rest of his body and what that might mean in his desire to move up a weight class to the Heavyweight division.
The size of Jon Jones’ calves
First up, let’s cover why Jon Jones has skinny calves. Considering he specialized as a Light Heavyweight fighter during his meteoric rise, his body frame and Skeletal muscle were always a little peculiar.
Jon “Bones” Jones stands 6’4″ tall and towered above several of his past opponents, being able to dominate by carefully picking them apart with his massive 84.5″ reach with his strikes.
He was also particularly clinical with his leg strikes, wearing down the opposition by kicking their body, ribs, and legs – pushing their frustration and cardio to the max.
While he has been so successful, fans and commentators like Joe Rogan have often thought that his legs, particularly his calves, are surprisingly thin for someone who is so effective in the cage.
“Jon Jones has the calf of an ankle” – Joe Rogan
Most other fighters in the Light Heavyweight weight class and above are either slightly shorter and thick, like Daniel Cormier, or are generally giant individuals who are meaty all over.
But for Jones, it seems most of his weight is carried in his upper body. Whereas his legs are long and very slim.
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Jon Jones Strength and Bulking
While Jones might have unusually thin legs and small calves, his ability to build strength in his entire frame and lift huge weights isn’t affected.
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen more of Jon’s strength training routines and the mass of muscle and weight he has put onto his frame.
The man has been progressively packing on the weight and heavy things he’s lifting. His new size is convincing as a potential Heavyweight.
And even with all that extra mass, his legs remain thin and long. Everyone’s built differently, and Jones’ frame allows him to stay very nimble and perhaps even look more like a Ciryl Gane-style fighter at that weight class.
Success as a Light Heavyweight fighter
Regardless of Jon’s slim lower body, his record speaks for itself. At Light Heavyweight, Jones only has one loss on his MMA record, which was a disqualification due to illegal elbows against Matt Hamill way back in 2009.
So, he hasn’t actually been beaten inside the cage. Yet.
Some of Bones’ best victories were over other popular names like Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira, Vitor Belfort… the list goes on and on of wins over some of the best to ever do it.
That’s one of the key reasons fans and pundits rate him so highly; he’s gone up against the very best and has usually won convincingly. Making him some kind of bright star among the roster.
With being able to eliminate his opposition so easily at Light Heavyweight, fans are eager to compare his skills against some of the biggest and heaviest grapplers and hitters in the Heavyweight division.
Often discussions have come up that Jon Jones should take on the likes of Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis or Francis “The Predator” Ngannou. Now THOSE are some fights we want to see!
The decision to move up to Heavyweight
In early 2020, Jones had a dominant decision victory against Dominick Reyes.
Later that year, he claimed he would be finally moving up to Heavyweight – something the fans and commentators had talked about for a while.
Jon’s physical size and reach, combined with his ownership of the Light Heavyweight division, make everyone wonder if he could bulk up and take on the challenge of much heavier hitters.
He always had a stellar combination of skills across striking on the feet and grappling with many other advanced wrestlers. It’s a skill set that is often pretty rare to find a fighter to excel at both martial arts.
Returning to the cage against Stipe Miocic
Recently, Jones took to social media to get fans hyped about a December 10th (2022) matchup against Stipe Miocic in Las Vegas.
The MMA world took a deep breath and sighed, “finally.”
But when Dana White was asked about it at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference, he seemed to think differently and told journalists that no such fight was planned.
In the conversation, Dana did say that a Jon Jones return was almost guaranteed in early 2023.
Jones has become pretty well known in recent years for calling out plenty of opponents and still not backing it up by actually returning to fight.
Because of all the talk, many fans are losing faith and comparing this “all talk” attitude to a cringe-king like Henry Cejudo (another fighter who has been talking about returning for what seems like forever).
At this point, we can’t know for sure when he will return to the octagon. Time will tell.
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Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.