The state of New York has produced a handful of well-known Mixed Martial Arts fighters, from former title-bearer Niagara Falls native Rashad Evans, to up-and-comer SUNY Morrisville's Jon "Bones" Jones, to big man on campus RIT wrestling alumni Matt Hamill.
You can now keep track of all the best MMA fighters with local ties. Just click on the tab labeled "Upstate NY MMA Fighters" on the top menu. In honor of Jones' birthday (July 23) and upcoming fight (Aug. 1), here is a look at his profile:
Jon "Bones" Jones (Endicott)
Promotion: UFC (2008-Present)
Class: Light Heavyweight
Upstate Ties: Jones was born in Rochester and raised in Endicott. He initially trained with Team BombSquad out of Cortland before joining trainer Greg Jackson's camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jones won a state wrestling title in 2005 for Union-Endicott High School, and a NJCAA title for Iowa Central Community College. He then spent a semester at SUNY Morrisville before signing a four-fight deal with UFC.
MMA Career: Jones' signing made him the youngest fighter on the UFC roster at that time. He won his debut at UFC 87 in August of 2008 by unanimous decision over Andre Gusmao, but it would be his victory at UFC 94 on January 31, 2009 that would put him on the MMA map.
On that night, Jones faced "The American Psycho" Stephan Bonner. Bonner had come into the bout with a record of 11-4, having gone the distance in losses to Forrest Griffin (twice), Rashad Evans, and losing by stoppage to Lyoto Machida when his corner couldn't close a cut under his right eye. Jones won the fight handily, scoring another unanimous decision victory after executing several takedowns and throws. He also dropped Bonner with a vicious spinning elbow in the first round.
Jones would score his ninth-straight professional victory at UFC 100 by submitting Jake O'Brien in the second round with a guillotine choke. The streak would end there, however, as Jones would essentially defeat himself at The Ultimate Finale 10 in December of 2009. Jones was dominating RIT alumn Matt Hamill when he was disqualified in the first round for using straight elbow strikes. That loss remains the only blemish on Jones' MMA record, as he claimed his first knockout of the night award on March 21, 2010 over Brandon Vera, a fighter who holds a knockout win over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir.
Currently: Jones is scheduled to fight Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4) on Aug. 1. The fight will be presented on Versus, marking the third-straight free TV fight for Jones after a string of three pay-per-view bouts. Matyushenko was once considered one of the sport's top light heavyweights and fought for the UFC Light Heavyweight title in 2001, losing a decision to Tito Ortiz.