NFL legend Tom Brady shared his support for American MMA star Jon Jones as he makes a dramatic return to the cage this weekend.
Jones returns to the octagon Saturday night at UFC 285 when he faces Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title – after Francis Ngannou vacated the belt.
The former UFC light-heavyweight champion has not stepped foot inside the octagon in three years – when he defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 back in February 2020. Since then, ‘Bones’ took some time away from the sport as he admitted he lacked motivation when going up against ‘lesser opposition’.
Brady, who retired from football in February after 23 seasons in the NFL as is considered the GOAT, actually hailed his countryman as the greatest as he backed him in a video message.
The 45-year-old, who revealed he would be in attendance at the event at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada, joked that he thought he his seven Super Bowl victories were a lot but that ‘Bones’ pips him.
NFL legend Tom Brady (L) shared his support for American MMA star Jon Jones (R) on Saturday
‘Hey Jon, I wanted to say welcome back to the main stage. It’s great to see the GOAT doing what he does best and doing what he’s meant to do. I thought seven titles was a lot, you doubled it man,’ Brady said in the video shared by UFC.
‘I know tonight’s not gonna be easy with Ciryl Gane standing on the other side of that octagon, he’s a bad man. It’s gonna be an incredible fight.
‘Dana [White] knows how to put on a great show as always and I wouldn’t miss this one for the world. I’m gonna be there watching, good luck to both of you guys tonight. And Jon congrats on an amazing career of greatness. Let’s f***ing go!’
Expectations are high for UFC 285 as one of the sport’s greatest stars, Jones, takes on French fighter Gane, who’s stock has risen tremendously in the past two years.
Gane fell just short of the task to win a UFC title when he took on Francis Ngannou in 2022 but will be looking to take advantage of this second opportunity.
Jones, meanwhile, is known as a veteran in the sport but hasn’t stepped foot inside the octagon for three years – leaving some fans to speculate over his current ability.
‘Bones’ said he felt ‘strong’ as he tipped the scales at 248lbs at the weigh-in for the event – and is ready to make a statement against the Frenchman in Las Vegas.
The 35-year-old dominated the light-heavyweight division before opting to vacate his belts in 2020 ahead of his jump up to heavyweight. He last fought in February 2020 against Dominick Reyes, winning by unanimous decision at UFC 247.
Jones faces Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title – after Francis Ngannou vacated the belt
Now Jones has given fans a glimpse of the reborn version of himself at the higher weight class – and admits he is proud of his heavier figure is confident he has the strength to cause problems for Gane.
‘I love what I saw [of his figure],’ he said after the weigh-in. Heavyweight is new for me but I think I look strong and I am strong.’
Jones and Gane had an intense face-off this week and ‘Bones’ said he was confident having looked into his opponent’s eyes – and is now excited for his big moment ahead of his comeback.
‘[The press conference] felt extraordinary, I didn’t know what to expect. The reception was mind-blowing. I had to take deep breaths and humble myself. I felt bad for Gane, they wouldn’t let the guy speak!
‘I wanted to look him right in the eyes and see what he was made of. I’m glad I did. At this point there’s not much he can do to change his tendencies. What he does wrong what he does right are glaring.
‘I am going to have a big old smile on my face tomorrow, embracing the moment. I know a lot of people are watching, I’m going to embrace my destiny and soak it all in.’
Although Brady hailed Jones as the GOAT, he has his own claim to the title – at least in the football world.
Just some of Brady’s records include the most passing touchdowns, passing completions, passing yards, and wins for a quarterback.
Brady announced his retirement – for the second time – on February 1 in an emotional video
Brady won six titles with New England, with the last coming against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII
Brady won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with New England – the most recent team to do so
He’s been named MVP of the league three times and the MVP of the Super Bowl five times – the most of any player.
Brady’s also the greatest playoff quarterback in the sport – with the record for most games started, games won, passing touchdowns, passing yards (in both a playoffs and in a single game).
Of course, the most notable among his accolades would be seven Super Bowl titles – six of which came in New England. Those seven titles are the most of any player in league history.
Brady announced his retirement on February 1 with a pre-recorded video apparently shot on a public beach in South Florida.
He has a broadcaster job with Fox line up and waiting for him but he recently revealed that he will wait to transition into the booth until the fall of 2024. In other words: NFL fans will go an entire season without Brady in 2023 for the first time this millennium.
Instead, it appears Brady is enjoying his year off by attending other sporting events.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk