UFC 151: Six Interesting Facts About Jon Jones

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIAugust 21, 2012

UFC 151: Six Interesting Facts About Jon Jones

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    UFC 151 is headlined by a light-heavyweight contest of epic proportions. Dominant champion Jon Jones will meet dangerous challenger, and three-time world champion, Dan Henderson.

    Henderson is the last great, established force who Jones has not yet defeated. If "Bones" can get past his challenger, the UFC will be put in the unfortunate situation of needing to book rematches or bouts against unworthy competition in order to keep their champion active.

    Before their September 1 collision, let's take a look at Greg Jackson's most successful student.

    Here are some interesting facts about Jon Jones.

He Stops Criminals with His Bare Hands

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    Nothing like a good hero story to kick off this article.

    You would not expect a title challenger to waste precious energy by engaging in a foot race with a would-be thief only hours before the biggest fight of his career. Unfortunately for the criminal, Jon Jones isn't your typical person.

    According to a report from Greg Jackson, on the afternoon of UFC 128, Jones, along with Jackson and trainer Mike Winkeljohn, spotted a thief swiping valuables from a vehicle he had just broken into. After shouting at the man, Jones took off in an attempt to catch the criminal.

    Jones quickly grabbed the man and threw him to the ground, where his trainers subdued him until the police arrived.

He Has the Longest Reach in the UFC

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    Some attribute the success of Jones to his incredible physical gifts. Standing at 6'4" and possessing a reach of 84.5 inches, "Bones" is able to utilize his length to attack his opponents from a distance.

    In fact, the last four opponents have averaged a 10-inch reach disadvantage when squaring off with the champion. Considering that Jones also has an impressive wrestling background that makes taking him down a nightmare, if you find yourself forced to stand with the monster, his reach can force any fighter to rethink their career choice.

    For those of you keeping track, Dan Henderson's reach is only 71 inches. Jones will possess an incredible 13.5" reach advantage at UFC 151. Considering that many people believe that Hendo's only chance lies in his big right hand, you've got to wonder how much damage he is willing to absorb while attempting to close the distance.

Dangerous Everywhere

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    Not only does Jones have an enormous reach, but his standup skills are superb. B/R's Anthony Gannon broke down the UFC 151 main event, in which he described Jones' striking.

    Jones deploys a wide variety of strikes. In addition to traditional eight-point Muay Thai , he utilizes spinning back elbows, front kicks to the knee, spinning back kicks, flying knees, switch kicks—you name it and Jon Jones throws it. He hasn't developed the necessary technique yet to harness one-punch kill power, but he's extremely effective at using his 84.5-inch reach to rack up accumulated damage with his striking

    As if that weren't enough, Jones possesses a wrestling pedigree that allows him to dictate the location of nearly any contest. Slams, suplexes or simple double-leg takedowns are all part of his arsenal, and the Jackson fighter is always ready to unload.

    If you are willing to shoot for a takedown, be careful! Jones choked out Jake O'Brien at UFC 100 when the wrestler looked to work the fight to the floor.

    What happens once Jones takes you to the ground? Ryan Bader found himself defeated by a north/south choke. Rampage Jackson was treated to a rear-naked choke. 

The Youngest UFC Champion in History

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    At UFC 94, Jon Jones was given a death sentence. Despite being only seven fighters into his career, Jones was being fed to popular slugger Stephan Bonnar in his second bout with the UFC.

    The 21-year-old was a heavy underdog and given virtually no chance to beat the American Psycho. 

    Not only did Jones dominate Bonnar, but he would go on to crush other notables like Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera and Ryan Bader en route to winning the UFC Light-Heavyweight championship only 26 months later.

    At the age of 23, Jones earned the title of youngest UFC champion in history—and it's a record that will be very difficult to break.

Enormous Sponsorships

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    Jon Jones is a young and athletic world champion. Not only does Jones break records in the UFC, but he also has crossover appeal stemming from his two brothers in the NFL.

    Why wouldn't "Bones" be an attractive option for the sportswear giants at Nike?

    Many believed that Jones' DWI from earlier this year would bring the deal to a screeching halt. However, the world's largest sporting goods company had enough faith in the star to stick by him through his first career hurdle.

    The Nike deal comes only a few months after the UFC officially sponsored their light-heavyweight champion. It was a controversial move, considering Jon Jones continuing to win fights is now in their best financial interests.

    In any case, the hyper-talented Jones is a well-spoken face for any product and deserving of any sponsorship he receives.

2011: The Year of Jon Jones

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    Jon Jones wasn't supposed to win the UFC light-heavyweight championship in 2011.

    In fact, all signs seemed to point to teammate Rashad Evans dethroning Shogun Rua and spending the rest of the year trying to defend his regained crown.

    However, after submitting undefeated prospect Ryan Bader at UFC 126, Joe Rogan informed Jones that Evans had been injured and the UFC was offering him the chance to fight for the belt on short notice.

    After stopping the always-dangerous Rua, Jones went on to twice defend his belt by submitting former champions Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida.

    Putting together four wins in one year is impressive, regardless of which organization you fight for. Doing it in the UFC against four world-ranked opponents is simply unheard of. 2011 was undoubtedly the year of Jon Jones in the MMA world.