In combat sports like the UFC, the term “ring rust” is a regular subject of concern and conversation. It is used for fighters who take a significant period away from the sport. Many believe that these performers will not live up to their abilities after long breaks in professional fights.
There have been many reasons why UFC fighters take time away from sports. It could be due to injuries, suspensions, or just wanting to walk away for a while.
We take a look at 5 UFC fighters who defy the odds and come back from layoffs to deliver outstanding performance:
# 5. Jon jones
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has dominated the 205-pound division for more than half a decade. The problem with this, however, is that Jones went through several stretches between his fights. Between 2014-2019, ‘Bones’ recorded a total of seven fights.
Whether it was because of Jones’ suspension for failing drug tests or getting into trouble with the law, Jones has been regularly left out of the sport. However, ‘Bones’ always found a way to come back after any interruptions and secure their wins.
During his two title reigns between 2011-2015 and 2018-2020, he recorded 11 successful title defenses against names like Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson and Lyoto Machida, among others.
Currently, Jon Jones has not fought since winning Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020 due to an ongoing salary dispute over his heavyweight debut.
As it stands, we’re unlikely to see Jones in the cage in 2021, so we can only hope he returns in 2022 as that will mark two years since his last fight.