Marcus Jones Surprises Viewers with Skill

Leon HorneAnalyst INovember 5, 2009

20 Sep 1998:  Defensive tackle Marcus Jones #78 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the Chicago Bears at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Bears 27-15. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran  /Alls
Scott Halleran/Getty Images


Let us be honest with each other here, Marcus Jones is a beast of a man with a lot of power and strength.


He reminds me of a rangier version of UFC heavy weight champion Brock Lesnar.


All that size and power aside, fans, starting from the first episode, were probably doubting whether he'd be a legitimate contender.


The coaches had fighters do some workouts in the preliminary evaluations and when it came to Marcus' conditioning, he looked about ready to have a heart attack.


Marcus is seen walking around with a big limp and what appeared to be a lot of pain in his right knee earlier on.


Finally, later in the season fans get the feeling that Marcus Jones might be out of the series for good after his body released enough sweat to fill a bath tub. Kimbo seriously thought he was going to get his second chance—he may still get it after seeing the preview for next weeks episode.


Although those scares probably had fans doubting Big Marcus, the producers threw in little tidbits here and there of Marcus brutalizing his practice partners when they were supposed to be going easy each other.


The funny thing here is that Marcus felt like he was going easy and the other fighters simply felt that Marcus simply is not aware of the kind of power he has.


Marcus's striking appears rudimentary at best and he admits to not being used to hitting people in the face or getting hit in the face for that matter.


To top it off, although Marcus is powerful enough to take the fight where he wants it go, there was not much time spent showing off his technical skills.


When looking at the final picture of Marcus Jones as a fighter, fans are under the impression that he is a big powerful guy who can take people down and control them and that's maybe about it. The problems being that he appears to have no gas tank, he isn't used to hitting people in the stand up, and is scared to get hit himself.


So even with the size advantage on his opponent Mike Wessel, Marcus Jones looked like he was in for a hell of a fight.


Mike Wessel is one of three fighters on the show who has fought in the UFC before. He is a powerful striker with a 6-1 record, three wins by knockout, one via submission, and two decisions.




Wessel going into this fight appeared to be the more well-rounded fighter in comparison to Marcus. Some fans may argue that Wessel still is the more rounded fighter, but Marcus made a case for his own skill set, especially on the ground.


Wessel came out swinging for the fences and Marcus looked unsure how to deal with it, he kept his arms out in front and as Quinton Jackson said “He looked like Black Frankenstein...He was reaching”.


One definitely have felt that Marcus had to get this fight to the ground and get it there quick.


The fighters clinched and Wessel attempted a trip take down. Marcus spun Wessel and turned Wessel's trip attempt into his own take down.


Marcus lands in top position and quickly attempts a kimura and almost succeeds before Wessel rolls out of it giving up his back.


Marcus is now looking for the rear naked choke and Wessel once again craftily spins into Marcus' guard.


Uh oh, big dominant Marcus is on his back, what is going to happen now?


Well big Marcus slaps on an arm bar out of nowhere and not just any arm bar, he slapped on a Frank Mir arm cracker. In fact, many of the fighters cage side actually thought they saw Wessel's arm break.


Needless to say, Wessel tapped quick and the fight was over in a flash.


Of course, Marcus's chin wasn't tested and neither was his stamina, but we did see Marcus's monstrous power.


More importantly the fans saw for the first time that Marcus actually has some excellent MMA ready Jiu Jitsui and he knows how to roll on the ground.


I, along with many fans, were probably skeptical of the former NFL defensive linesman. Marcus is 36, his knee looks a little banged up, his stamina looked bad early on, he doesn't like the striking game, and he doesn't have a martial-arts background.


Aside from his big power, no one was sure what Marcus's skill set was.


With his submission win over Mike Wessel, Marcus Jones definitely looks much better then many of the other contestants looking to be the next Ultimate Fighters .


On a side not, hopefully things work out for Mike Wessel it seems like he was looking for a way to pay the medical bills for his wife who is battling cancer.


Winning the show was undoubtedly part of his plan to help his wife battle through this wicked disease. This is definitely a situation where universal medical care seems like it could really help.


Off to the quarter-finals and hopefully some good fights like the one we just saw will continue through to the season finale.