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UFC 285: Jon Jones up 44 pounds from last fight ahead of heavyweight debut

Jon Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, is not so light anymore as he prepares to make his heavyweight debut at UFC 285.

Jones weighed in at 248 pounds in Las Vegas on Friday ahead of his bout against Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight belt, a full 44 pounds heavier than his last fight as a light heavyweight in February 2020. In that fight, a decision win against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, Jones weighed in at 204 pounds.

Meanwhile, Gane, a career heavyweight, weighed in less than Jones at 247.5 pounds. Both fighters came well below the 265-pound weight limit for UFC heavyweight title fights.

Jones' change in physique was plainly visible as he walked onto the scale. He might have added some meat around his belly, but his chest and arms were visibly more muscular.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05:  Jon Jones poses on the scale during the UFC 235 weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones as a light heavyweight. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: Jon Jones poses on the scale during the UFC 285 official weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones as a heavyweight. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The change in weight is one of many questions facing Jones as he prepares for his first official fight in three years.

Widely considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, if not the greatest, Jones was interested in a move up to light heavyweight soon after his UFC record 11th successful title defense at light heavyweight, but ended up in a standoff with the promotion over his compensation for a potential fight against Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou later won the heavyweight belt and vacated it over his own pay dispute with the UFC, leaving the door open for a big-time debut for Jones at his new weight. A win Saturday would make Jones the ninth UFC fighter to win a belt in two divisions and the third to do it at heavyweight and light heavyweight, joining Randy Couture and his old rival Daniel Cormier.

UFC 285 is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with PPV on ESPN+.