If UFC President Dana White wanted to construct the “perfect fighter” the checklist would probably include freak athleticism, power, speed, charisma and humility. If White was getting greedy, he’d ask for that same fighter to be a down to earth, respectful and engaging spokesperson. Well, after UFC on Versus 1, White and the fighting world might’ve found that fighter.
His name Jon “Bones” Jones and the most frightening thing may be that he’s only 22. Born in Rochester, New York, Jones entered the UFC with an interesting fighting background. Versed in wrestling and Muay-Thai, Jones entered one of the world’s top MMA organizations with some hype. Amongst other accolades he was a 2006 JUCO National Wrestling Champions at Iowa Central and a United States Kick Boxing Association Champion in the 205 lbs. weight class.
Jones is 6’4”, 205 lbs., fast and extremely explosive; not allowing the viewer to blink, let alone take a bathroom break. He has a UFC record reach of 84.5 inches. He’ll stand up and bang or he’ll drop you down on your back with a powerful sweep. He’s won by submission, he’s won by knockout. His all around skill is only made more difficult by his array of unusual offense.
One can only imagine how tough it is to prepare for a belly to back slam, a spinning back kick or spinning back elbow. Jones’ striking isn’t only different, it’s accurate. Just ask Stephan Bonnar how it felt to get blasted on the button by a spinning back elbow, after being Greco Roman slammed around the Octagon like a rag doll.
Jones’ one blemish in the UFC came by disqualification via illegal “12 to 6” elbows to the head of Matt Hamill. Before the disqualification, Jones had been demolishing what was supposed to be the biggest challenge he’d faced to that point. It was time to move on and see if Jones could handle some of the top-tier talent in the UFC Light Heavyweight division.
That phase of his career began at UFC on Versus 1. Jones faced off against top-five Light Heavyweight Brandon Vera and showed that his success wasn’t due to opposition. Jones mostly dominated a fight that ended in brutal stoppage thanks to an elbow that fractured three bones in Vera’s face.
As if his fighting acumen wasn’t good enough, Jones’ personality and intangibles look like they’ll bring him to another level. He’s confident, but not cocky, always giving his respect to the opponent after clear and decisive victories. After the Hamill fight he showed humility and didn’t whine about the decision like we’ve seen several times in the past.
He’s driven and intelligent. Knowing that raw talent wasn’t everything, Jones decided to train against top fighters and join Greg Jackson’s fight camp that includes talent such as Carlos Condit, Rashad Evans and Georges St-Pierre.
Jon Jones is a rare talent who seemingly has all the tools inside and outside of the Octagon to become a superstar. He’s been talked about as the future and it looks as if the future may be sooner than many thought or hoped for. I wonder if White has any more boxes to check.