With 12 wins and just one loss – by disqualification – Jon Jones is the encumbrance in Mauricio Shogun’s way next Saturday, in New Jersey, where UFC 128 will take place. At just 23 years of age, Jones is already one of the most dangerous opponents in the stacked light heavyweight division, having won ten fights before the end of the final round by either knockout or submission.
The talent is inborn, given his football star siblings. But Jon, who hasn’t had much time as a professional fighter and is already getting a shot at the title, hasn’t hidden in his famous older brother’s shadow. He took to hard training, as we recount in the issue of Choke magazine found in GRACIEMAG # 165 (click here to subscribe):
“I was in college and on the wrestling team. There was also a Jiu-Jitsu academy there and just seeing my friends there doing Jiu-Jitsu made me want to train. I did well on my very first tournament, getting the finish in all four matches. That’s when my coach said: ‘Maybe we’d best start looking at MMA for you.’”
And his initiation in the new style soon followed.
“My daughter changed my life. I really had to get to work and stop studying; we needed money.”
On his first year as a professional, in 2008, the fighter already had the first seven fights of his career. The boy made his UFC debut that very season.
“André Gusmão’s opponent hurt himself. They were having a hard time finding another opponent and they called me just three weeks from the fight. I remember Gusmão’s tattoos – they were really cool. That stuck with me from my UFC debut. I went out there, won, and I’m still winning!” he declares.
Check out Jones’s highlight reel below.