UFC 145: Jon Jones on Water, Spies, His Book of Moves, Rashad's Top Game, JDS
Bleacher Report recently sat down with UFC light-heavyweight Champion Jon Jones in his coach Mike Winkeljohn's office, at the Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA camp in Albuquerque, NM.
Jones addressed many topics, including a detailed breakdown of how meditating by water helped him whup Lyoto Machida, the possibility of teammates spying for Rashad, the chapter devoted to Rashad in his book of moves, Rashad’s top game, and if he'd consider challenging Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title should Jones emerge from the his title-defense unscathed.
On the Importance of Water Meditation Before Fights
Before every fight, Jones has a ritual of finding some running water.
There's something about the sound of water that calms me, that relaxes me. I feel at peace, just watching that stream, watching the power of water, thinking about Bruce Lee and how water crashes, thinking about how Bruce Lee says water can flow, thinking about how water is limitless. So I watch the water before the fight and I get empowered by water. So, going in between rounds, a lot of fighters start to panic. Coach, what am I gonna do? Man I'm tired. I only have one minute to recover. I gotta go back out there. Oh man. Give me the magic words. Tell me the what I gotta do to win.
I find myself getting flooded with these thoughts in between rounds. So what I try to do is close my eyes, and I focus on the water. I focus on the the sound of the water. I focus on the heart rate that I had when I was looking at the water earlier in the day. And I focus on the beauty and the fresh air.
In between all of these beautiful thoughts, I find myself recovered. I'm like, wow. My blood pressure just went down. My heart rate just went back down. And I'm simplifying where I'm at, and now I'm actually able to focus my thoughts on what my coaches are telling me. And they're telling me...advice.
For example in my last fight, going into round two, first thing I did I breathed and focused in. They said 'Jon, Lyoto's trying to hit you every time you throw a kick, so fake a kick and throw a nine or a blue.'
I heard my coaches clear as day. Instantly totally understood what I had to do. And about two minutes into that second round I found that shot, the exact shot that my coach asked me to take. And it led to the fight being ended. So, that's why I look for water."
On Preparing for Rashad Evans
Does Rashad have spies in camp?
I'm not worried about spies, even though spies have been a part of combat history since the beginning history. I'm not worried about it. I have so many moves, and I'm so versatile in my attacks. He could have a list of 12 moves that I do. He doesn't know which one I'm going to do when. He doesn't have impeccable and impregnable timing and defense, so I'm not to worried about it. When I first got here I was like 'coach, should I trust everyone? What should I do?' And Coach was like 'hey, these guys are better than that.'
On top game and striking:
[Rashad] thinks that him holding me down in practice means a lot. It doesn't. Holding me down kills nothing but the clock.
His top game, I'm not afraid of it. He doesn't go for submissions, really. When I get on top of someone, you see blood within the first few seconds. Instantly. He gets on top of people, you know, people get back to their feet and they start fighting again. I'm not worried about his top game.
...We've never been so prepared, more sharp. Especially in the kickboxing department. We have so many combinations that we think are going to land.