Within the span of a couple months, both Jon Jones and
will return to the Octagon following extended

As the wrestling coach of the Fight Ready team, Eric Albarracin was
able to observe the daily routines of the two former UFC champions
as they prepare to make their highly-anticipated comebacks. Jones
will face Ciryl Gane
for the vacant heavyweight crown at UFC 285
on Saturday, while Cejudo will lock horns with Aljamain
for bantamweight gold at UFC 288 on
May 6. Albarracin discussed the prospects for Jones and Cejudo in a
recent interview with Sherdog.com.

“Any athlete who goes three years without competing should be an
underdog if they return to fight for a belt, but Cejudo and Jones
are probably the only exceptions,” he said. One is the only ‘Triple
C’ in the history of combat sports, and the other is the GOAT.
They don’t fight only for the belt, but to make history.”

After Jones spent a portion of his camp at Fight Ready in Arizona
last month, Albarracin came away impressed with the evolution of
the former Iowa Central Community College national champion’s
wrestling skills.

“Jones has been away from high level wrestling competitions for a
long time, but I was amazed by the way he regained his technique
while the level of competitors was raised in sparring,” he said. “I
saw him doing great wrestling training with [three-time NCAA
Division I national champion] J’den Cox.”

While he recognizes that Gane’s style may be challenging for Jones,
Albarracin believes the fight will end inside the distance if Jones
is able to implement his game plan.

“Gane is a real tough dude,” Albarracin said. “Depending what he
brings, it may be a tough one, but if Jones imposes his tactical
plan, I truly believe he will finish it in the second or third

As for his longtime student Cejudo, Albarracin is confident that
the Olympic gold medalist will succeed against Sterling to set the
stage for bigger fights down the road.

“The fight is in May, but Cejudo has been training since last
year,” Albarracin said. “Aljamain will face the best version of
Cejudo. And after he gets his belt back, he will probably fight
[Sean] O’Malley and then attempt to make history once again. This
time it’s by becoming the only ‘[Quadruple] C’ in the history of
combat sports by beating [Alexander] Volkanovski and conquering the
featherweight belt.”

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Eric Albarracin Discusses UFC Returns of Jon Jones, Henry Cejudo