Holly Holm has received valuable input from teammate Jon Jones. | TJ De Santis/Sherdog.com
Long before he became UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones was an avid student of mixed martial arts.
In his formative years, the New York native would study film of his favorite fighters and incorporate their moves and styles into his own creative mash-up in the cage. Regardless of his decision making outside of the Octagon, Jones’ fight IQ remains a strong suit as his career has progressed.
While the their size differential limits actual live sparring opportunities, it’s that very same mind for the sport that has aided Holly Holm as she prepares for her bantamweight title shot against Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 on Nov. 14.
“We’ll shadow box a little bit. We’ll try not to throw kicks and punches at each other. Obviously he’s not gonna be sparring with me like he would with the big heavyweights. But we have the some coaches, we have the same team. I love to hear his input. Because he’s obviously been able to take what our coaches teach and put it together perfectly,” Holm said during a conference call.
“So I love to hear his input on it and he has been very helpful and very instrumental in this fight camp. A lot of things that sometimes he’ll just brainstorm on that works really well for me, and he’s been great.”
Jones hasn’t competed since defending the light heavyweight title with a five-round verdict over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 on Jan. 3. He was stripped of his belt and suspended indefinitely in April for his alleged role in a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, N.M. In September Jones entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation; the UFC reinstated the Jackson-Wink MMA standout last week.
Even though his fighting career has been on hold, Jones has been a fixture in the gym as a valuable teammate.
“There’s been times where he might even come to my mitt session and have some ideas on things that he feels works with my fighting style -- and just ideas that he has,” Holm said. “He’s got a very good mind about fighting and I always appreciate his advice.”