Insider stories: the day Minotauro tapped out Jon Jones

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Rodrigo Minotauro durante UFC153 _OpenWorkout

Rodrigo Minotauro during pre-UFC Rio/153 open training in Rio de Janeiro / Photo by Josh Hedges/UFC

In a sport so full of tall tales as MMA, a lot of yarns are so good that they whiff of folklore and fans even doubt their veracity. Who doesn’t have a friend who’s always belting out, “That fight was fixed!” or “That’s too good to be true. No way!”

Well that goes for the following one but you’d better believe, gentle reader, this one is true.

It was back around 2009, when now-champion Jon Jones was still just a young hopeful and Rodrigo Minotauro was dreaming of getting his hands on Brock Lesnar’s heavyweight belt.

The two met up at an event, and Jones displayed some of the great virtues that go into forging a true martial arts champion: the boldness to see for himself.

On enthusiastically shaking Minotauro’s hand, Jones blurted out: “I’m a big fan of yours. But if we rolled I don’t think you can tap me out!” And that was to another adrenaline junkie, a Brazilian who loved putting himself to the test ever since he was a kid.

Rodrigo, smiling, furrowed his brow right away. “Huh? Only if we do it now,” and he promptly removed his watch and followed the youthful American to the nearest mat.

The technical details of the roll, as Jiu-Jitsu ethics dictate, we’d rather not disclose. But that the young champion-to-be learned a lot, he did. And he realized that Rodrigo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu do have the weapons needed to take him out.

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