Jon Jones Reveals His Toughest Opponent, and It Isn't Evans or Machida

Jon Jones - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Jon Jones - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IMay 5, 2012

Who is the toughest opponent Jon Jones has faced in his MMA career?

If you answered Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida or Quinton Jackson, you would be wrong. Other than helping him break a good sweat, none of these fighters pushed Jones to the limit.

There is one fighter that pushed Jones farther and harder than he's ever gone. This man has never been a world champion or even a light heavyweight contender, but no one has ever questioned his heart and determination.

According to Jones, the toughest opponent he has ever faced is none other than The Ultimate Fighter Season One runner-up Stephan Bonnar.

"The toughest opponent, up to this point, would have to have been Stephan Bonnar," Jones said in an interview on Spike TV's MMA Uncensored Live. "He pushed me to the limits. I hit him hard, and he kept coming with relentlessness."

Granted, Jones was still rough around the edges at the time, but Bonnar's resilience and constant pressure made for an intriguing bout.

A couple of the judges even scored the third round for Bonnar.

It was a bout that really highlighted the cardio concerns about Jones, who could hardly stand in the final round. There is no question Bonnar was treated as a grappling dummy in the first couple of rounds, but his heart shined through in the end.

With that said, there really isn't anything to take from that particular fight other than a gutsy performance from Bonnar. Since growing under the tutelage of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, Jones' conditioning woes have become a distant memory.

Still, one can't help but wonder.

Does Jones truly consider Bonnar his toughest foe to date, or could he be playing mind games in an attempt to psyche out the rest of the division?


Looking for some more MMA news, and perhaps a couple of laughs? Follow me on Twitter @JordyMcElroy.

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