BLUE ASH, Ohio — The crowd at Beat Personal Training in Blue Ash features a little bit of everybody.
“Soccer moms, dad bods, high school athletes, we’ve had state champion wrestlers here," Beat Personal Training owner Matt Wiedemer said.
The workout facility even welcomes former UFC world champion Jon "Bones" Jones.
“Matt’s been raving about his gym here in Cincinnati and I just thought I'd come out here and give it a try,” Jones said.
Jones became a household name over the last decade, after beating some of the top MMA fighters in the world.
He reached out to the Sycamore grad Wiedemer in March, after hearing about the success of his speed training program.
“The really neat thing about him is he's got a lot of untapped potential," Wiedemer said. "As decorated as he is, he's undefeated, he's been light heavyweight champion for over 10 years now, he's considered the greatest mixed martial artist in the history of the sport, and I still think there's a lot he can add to his repertoire.”
After competing in the light heavyweight division for most of his career, Jones is adding 60 pounds to his frame to move up to the heavyweight ranks.He’s doing a lot more running to maintain his athleticism.
“One of Matt's specialties is making you faster, so we're doing a lot of overspeed treadmill work, with machines that go as high as 25 miles per hour," Jones said.
A contract dispute with the UFC is slowing down progress on the next fight. As time passes and uncertainty looms, Jones wants to prove he’s still the best.
“I feel like the UFC is kind of a 'what have you done for me lately type of sport' and we have a lot of new fans who may not be as familiar with my work,' he said. "All that will change when I get back in there for sure. They’ll find out real quick, if they didn't know before, what I’m capable of.”
Jones likened his next challenge to climbing Mount Everest.
“These are huge challenges, and it just makes me feel so alive," Jones said. "Whether Francis Ngannou has the belt, Derek Lewis, Stipe Miocic, eventually I'll beat all of them. I just want that belt. I know that when my fight does come around, I'll be more than ready to win."
Wiedemer, or "Coach Matt" as Jones calls him, is confident he'll help Jones get back to the mountain top.
"Jon wiped out two generations of light heavyweight champions and he's about to do the same thing with the heavyweight division," Wiedemer said. "He's going to go through these guys one by one. You'll see it happen."