The Return of Jon Jones

“I Beat You After a Weekend of Cocaine”

Marcus Roberts, Head Writer

Jon “Bones” Jones is arguably the greatest, most unique fighter to ever live. His impressive 23-1-0 record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) proves that he is dominant at the very highest level of hand-to-hand combat. However, the same Jon Jones that beat some of the most acclaimed mixed martial artists in UFC history, has also been highly criticized for his past actions outside of the cage.  

Born in a family of NFL players, Jonathan Jones wanted to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Arthur Jones III. Arthur is a year older than Jon. He was drafted and won a Superbowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. Jon’s younger brother, Chandler Jones, currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals. Jones tried to be a defensive end like his brothers in high school; however, his coach struggled to find a place for the tall and lanky kid. That is how he got his nickname, “Bones”. 

Growing up in Rochester, New York, Jones saw more opportunity in the sport of wrestling. With little experience, he used his creativity and athleticism to win the high school wrestling state title in New York. After that, Jones wanted a degree in criminal justice at Morrisville state college. He truly loved the art of fighting. So much so that he dropped out of college to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. 

He won his first two UFC fights by way of decision. Next, he won his first fight by submission at UFC 100 against Jake O’Brien. He was a young, talented fighter that could land a punch or a kick from any angle. He was most dangerous because of his wide range of skills. Soon enough his stand up and clinch skills were just as frightening as his long-accredited wrestling, ground-and-pound style. Though he has the longest wingspan in MMA history he loves to stay close to his opponent and throw precise elbows. In late December of 2009, Jones was handed his first and only ever loss via disqualification from illegal “twelve to six elbow strikes.” The loss was very controversial and even the president of the UFC agreed that the fight should have ended in a ‘no contest.’ 

After that, Jones was on a mission to become the best in his 205-pound division. He did: dominating multiple fighters that he was a substantial underdog against. At 23, Jon defeated Rashad Evans to become the youngest champion to ever live. He defended it for years after, beating Vitor Belfort (26-14-0), Chael Sonnen (29-15-1), Alexander Gustafsson (18-5-0), Glover Teixeira (28-7-0), and Daniel Cormier (22-1-0). But then his career was in serious jeopardy. 

In 2015, Jones was involved in a hit-and-run case involving a pregnant woman. He was given eighteen months’ probation and was stripped of his title. Not only that, after winning the UFC Light Heavyweight title for the second time, he tested positive for male enhancement pills; he was suspended from professional fighting for a year just before his bout against current champion Daniel Cormier. Cormier and Jones argued back and forth during his suspension. “I beat you after a weekend of cocaine,” Jones said.  He came back on July 29, 2017, to defeat Cormier in the third round to reclaim his title. Jones was elated, but he was caught doping again, and the fight was decided as a ‘no contest.’ 

Just weeks ago, Jones was granted a temporary fight pass to come back and fight Alexander Gustafsson for a second time. December 29, Jon Jones beat the Swede in round three by knockout. 

For now, Jon owns the UFC Light Heavyweight belt as it was vacant for his last fight. He has no great media coverage or Nike sportswear contract, but maybe that will inspire him to fight that much harder. He is scheduled to fight Anthony Smith (31-13-0) at UFC 225. On Saturday, March second, I hope we get to see the young, elusive, creative Jon Jones that every fan of the sport used to love to watch.

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