- Given Name: Jonathan Dwight Jones
- Pro MMA Record: 26-1-0, 1 NC (Win-Loss-Draw)
- Nickname: Bones
- Current Streak: 17 Wins
- Age: 32 | Date of Birth: 1987.07.19
- Last Fight: February 08, 2020 in UFC
- Weight Class: Light Heavyweight | Last Weigh-In: 204.0 lbs
- Affiliation: Jackson Wink MMA
- Height: 6'4" (194cm) | Reach: 84.5" (215cm)
- Career Disclosed Earnings: $4,518,000 USD
- Born: Rochester, New York, United States
- Fighting out of: Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Head Coach: Greg Jackson
- Other Coaches: N/A
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Even some of the world’s top light heavyweight MMA fighters admit to finding Jon Jones a little bit scary. The athletic phenom’s rise to the UFC 205 pound title was nothing short of meteoric. Jones, a former national junior college wrestling champion from Iowa Central Community College, signed with the UFC as the youngest member of its roster at that time, as well as the fighter with its greatest wingspan (84.5 inches). His early performances in the Octagon against grizzled competitors such as Stephan Bonnar and Jake O’Brien he showed stunning displays of takedowns and striking virtuosity. Jones, in seemingly effortless fashion, used trips, suplexes, hip throws and slams to rag doll his opposition and then blister them with elbows, spinning backfists and knees.
In those early wins, Jones seemed like an athletic natural who simply understood in his blood how to vary attacks and transition among techniques. That view belies the hard work Jones and his training partners attest to. He is known as a disciplined and modest student of the game who earned his technical mastery logging serious hours training with top camps, including Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada and Jackson’s Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jones was disqualified in his UFC: The Ultimate Finale 10 matchup with Matt Hamill for throwing illegal downward elbows from the mount, resulting in his first career loss on paper. However, Jones had once again effortlessly dominated the proceedings up to that point, making the typically bruising Hamill look like a lost child. In yet another step up in competition, Jones then faced dynamic Muay Thai striker Brandon Vera, and dispatched him in the first round, literally cracking Vera’s skull with vicious elbow shots to end the fight. After another majestic, seemingly effortless performance in dispatching the bullying wrestler Ryan Bader in the second round via choke, Jones was granted an in-cage title shot against the great Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC title, after his then training partner Rashad Evans injured himself in training.
On March 19, 2011, on the biggest stage of his young professional career, Jon Jones put on his greatest performance to date, winning the UFC Light Heavyweight title at the tender age of 23. As he had with every other opponent in his UFC career, Jones dispatched Rua effortlessly, using his stunning combination of athleticism, technical mastery and ring artistry to savage the Champion from virtually every position over the course of three lopsided rounds. Rua ultimately tapped to a combination body strike and knee to the head that crowned Jones the UFC's newest big thing. Despite an early career defined by superlatives, the talk following Jones's amazing performance immediately ratcheted to another level, as fans began to debate whether he would prove an all-time great. Jon Jones holds the distinction of having the most consecutive victories over former UFC Champions in the history of the promotion.
As time continued, Jones began to dismantle his competition with a plethora of different finishing techniques including the following: a fourth round rear naked choke of Rampage Jackson, a standing choke that rendered Lyoto Machida unconscious, an almost effortless decision win over former training partner Rashad Evans, and most recently a vicious mounted crucifix to kimura tapout of Vitor Belfort.
The bout with Machida saw the first time Jones had lost a round in the UFC. Machida's mixture of kicks and elusive striking had Jones of balance, and the young champion was hit with several clean shots. However "Bones" rebounded in the second round, and capitalized on Machida dropping his rear round on a counter punch, which led to the choke. His next bout with Evans was strongly anticipated as there had been a lot of public bad blood, as Rashad Evans felt Jones should not have taken his shot at Shogun. Evans felt so strongly about this that he cut all ties with their mutual trainer Greg Jackson. Many felt Evans was the man to beat Jones, due to his knowledge of Jones from their time training together, as well as his wrestling pedigree. However, Evans was not able to answer Jones superior reach, tepe kicks, and standing elbow strikes, which are not commonly seen in MMA.Jones then fought Vitor Belfort, who was replacing an injured Dan Henderson. The underdog Belfort nearly pulled of the upset with an armbar in the first round. Luckily for Jones, he survived and controlled the rest of the fight, before submitting the "Phenom" in the fourth round.
In October of 2012 the Ultimate fighter scored record setting lows for viewers of the ultimate fighter. Jones would then coach opposite of Chael Sonnen in the next Ultimate Fighter with the two of them facing off on April 27th at UFC 159. Jon Jones would beat Sonnen at his home game using wrestling to secure take downs and eventually finish Sonnen off with some ground and pound to successfully defend his belt for the fourth time. Jones also suffered a nasty broken toe injury during the fight which he didn't even realize until he started his interview with Joe Rogan after the fight. His next test would prove to be his toughest yet when he faced another tall fighter Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. It was a very closely contested fight with Gustafsson causing more damage to Jones than anyone else had before. In the end the champ would retain his title winning the decision. He is set to defend the belt again against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172.
Jon "Bones" Jones continued his UFC LHW reign on April 26th with yet another successful title defense as he defeated Glover Teixeira in impressive fashion at UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira in Baltimore via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) . From the outset it was clear that Jones' 84.5" reach was going to be a huge advantage in the bout. With the 6'2" Teixeira unable to get close enough to the champion to do much damage in the early rounds, Jones was able to pick the Brazilian apart from the outside. He outlanded Teixeira in every round, and even when the challenger was able to close the distance, he either took the strikes in stride or avoided them completely. The championship rounds turned out to be all about the champion, as he completed the shutout with his continued dominance. Bones also showed his ability to play up to the crowd before the fight. He paid a little tribute to Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis on his way to the Octagon.
Jon "Bones" Jones was next scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson in a much anticipated rematch at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustaffson 2 on September 27th, 2014. A Gustafsson knee injury forced the Swede off the card with Daniel "DC" Cormier filling in as a replacement. Pre-fight trash talk between Jones and Cormier was heated and intense, with the story attracting greater than normal mainstream sports coverage. A press event stare-down with the fighters resulted in an infamous scuffle that left both fighters with athletic commission suspensions and cost Jones his Nike sponsorship. Right as the media attention reached a crescendo, Jones sustained a knee injury in training forcing the postponement of the bout until January 2015.
After Hype was at an absolute maximum and tension could not get any higher, Jones would finally meet Daniel "DC" Cormier at UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier. a tilt dubbed "bitter rivals" which was suiting for these two men both vowing not to back down and that they would each be the one leaving victorious. In the end it was Jones that would walk away with a unanimous decision. 49-46 on all score cards. It was a "dog fight" for the most part with Jones seeming content not to use his reach advantage and stay on the outside but rather stay in close quarters and work the clinch. Along with the first defeat in DC's MMA career, Jones also handed him his first take down taking DC down a total of three times in the fight.
Jones' life and career were put on hold when on 23 April, 2015, Jones was involved in a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Drugs were found inside the vehicle that Jones was driving and the next day, an arrest warrant was issued for Jones. He turned himself into police that evening. He was released on bail for $2,500. On April 28, Jones was stripped of his UFC belt and suspended from the UFC indefinitely. It got only worse for Jones, when on 29 April, Reebok (Jones' largest sponsorship), along with Muscletech (Jones' second largest sponsorship) the following day; terminated their sponsorships with Jones.