• Jon Jones will be facing Dominick Reyes in UFC 247
  • Cerrone used to train in the same gym as Jones before leaving due to a feud with the trainer
  • UFC 246 will be Conor McGregor’s comeback fight after being inactive for over a year

UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has chosen his bet for the upcoming UFC 246 clash between Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and for him, it’s a matter of familiarity.

In an SBNation’s BloodyElbow article, the 32-year old Jones wants his message to be sent to Cerrone that his former Jackson-Wink MMA stablemate will be rooting for him once he steps on the ring on January 19 inside T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, NV.

Jones and the 36-year old Cerrone trained in the same gym in Albuquerque, TX until he opted to leave the gym following his public feud with the striking coach gym’s head coach and Mike Winkeljohn. MMAFighting reports say that it all started with Cerrone disagreeing with Winkeljohn’s decision to have Mike Perry, his opponent in his upcoming fight, train in the same gym.

Instead, Winkeljohn told Cerrone that he should be the one to leave the gym before “Cowboy” said that Winkeljohn is “ruining the gym”. Cerrone faced Perry November 2018 and he forced Perry to submit to an armbar with 15 seconds left in the first round.

“I’m really happy for Cowboy Cerrone, being an Albuquerque fighter, to have such a huge opportunity,” said Jones, who beat Thiago Santos via split decision to defend his title. “Cowboy Cerrone and I will always have somewhat of a connection, and I’m pulling for him.

At the same time, he also gave credit to his friend’s opponent McGregor, who has not fought in an MMA fight since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov on UFC 229. “At the same time, Conor McGregor, I love everything he’s doing for the sport. Such a great businessman and he’s brought so much awareness to our sport,“ he explained.

Prior to the loss, the 31-year old McGregor’s last fight was on the ring with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, where he lost via TKO in the 10th round and his fight with Cerrone will be his comeback fight after getting involved in off-the-ring controversies.

Jones will be stepping in the ring to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight belt against undefeated Dominick Reyes on UFC 247 in Houston, TX. Reyes, whose record is 12-0-0 and seven KOs, is coming off a first-round KO victory against Chris Weidman.

Jon Jones
Jon Jones still has a Brock Lesnar fight in his sights. In this picture, Jones looks on prior to a fight against Daniel Cormier in the Light Heavyweight title bout during UFC 214 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, July 29, 2017. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images