Jon Jones: 10 Things You Need to Know...and the Resulting Questions

Jonathan ShragerCorrespondent IJune 13, 2011

Jon Jones: 10 Things You Need to Know...and the Resulting Questions

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    Not even superheroes stand a chance.

    Jonny "Bones" Jones' rapid rise to UFC greatness and superstardom has even surpassed the oft-utilised adjective “meteoric.”

    He made his full professional MMA debut in April 2008 and just shy of three years later, he annihilated, and to a certain extent humiliated, former Pride legend Shogun Rua to reign atop the two-buck five division.

    During that three-year period he effectively remained undefeated in his MMA career, with the exception of his disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, universally-recognised as a comfortable victory for the New York native.

    Despite his wrestling credentials, he actively trained in MMA for a mere three months before his first outing in the cage—which renders his accomplishments thus far startling, and does not bode well for his prospective adversaries (bearing in mind that he remains very much a work in progress).

    Jones fondly recalls that his introduction to the sport, over which he now presides, was simply viewing Anderson Silva YouTube footage and endeavouring to emulate the movements and techniques.

    Three-and-a-half-years later the two shared a stage in Toronto, along with the five other UFC champions. It’s a phenomenal odyssey.

    Is there anyone who can keep up with the Joneses? Or rephrased, do you think there is anybody at LHW that can realistically challenge JBJ and pose a threat to his ascendancy to the pinnacle of the p4p list?

    Follow me on Twitter @jonathanshrager

1. UFC's Youngest Ever Title Holder

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    You may have heard I'm the UFC's youngest ever champion. Oh, you didn't? Well, I am the UFC's youngest ever champion.

    Winning the strap at the age of 23, Jonny “Bones” Jones became the youngest ever UFC champion in any weight category—a fact which he is not slow to remind anyone who is willing to listen.

    The record adorns every single silo of his social media pages. Furthermore, it has been bruited about that JBJ is paying serious consideration to having the accolade proudly tattooed onto a prominent part of his body, probably opposite his Phillipians 4:13 tattoo.

    It’d constitute the sort of ostentatious confidence to which we have become accustomed from Jones, who even signed photographs with “Jonny Bones Jones, Light Heavyweight Champion, 2011,” in 2010.

    It has also been reported that he is pondering a nickname switch to Jon “UFCs youngest ever champ” Jones, just to reinforce the full title which he has earned.

    Do you think we will see a younger UFC champion at any point in the near future?

2. MMA's Messiah

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    He is a physical specimen, and well-known for boasting the longest reach/wing-span in UFC history at 84.5. Standing at 6’4" (I sound like Bruce “Balls-deep” Buffer here), and yet to reach the age of 24, many vehemently opine that Jon Bones Jones possesses not only the sufficient skill-set, but also the necessary physique to move up and dominate the heavyweight division.

    His patent athleticism also appears to be genetic, with his two brothers being elite athletes—one is established (Arthur was selected in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens) and the other (Chandler) is an aspiring defensive lineman at Syracuse, which boasts a University football program renowned for producing many All-Americans as well as Professional Football Hall of Famers.

    His prime physicality and athleticism are being appropriately harnessed to cultivate a futuristic fighter, capable of unorthodox and outrageous Matrix-inspired maneouvres in the Octagon that prove breathtaking to spectators and fellow fighters alike.

    Alongside fighters such as “Showtime” Pettis, he effortlessly spearheads this movement of the all-action cage heroes, the touted future of the sport. JBJ embodies the latest evolution of the game from brawlers/one-discipline specialists (first generation-90s), to mixed martial artists and Jack-of-all-trade fighters (second generation-naughties), to the new hybrid, high-performance breed who will burgeon over the ensuing decade (third generation).

    Accolades comprise being dubbed by Joe Rogan as the “Michael Jordan of MMA” (i.e., the greatest that ever did it), presaging the fact that he is the future consensus pound-for-pound No. 1 in the sport. There is an air of inevitability surrounding his ascendancy to the summit of the p4p list, with both his counterparts and eminent reporters firmly believing that he will defeat/decimate everyone in his division with unerring ease.

    Do you foresee JBJ also being successful at heavyweight?

3. MMA's Batman (Pettis Is Robin)

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    Aside from his manifest sporting pedigree, he has also proven himself a benevolent, benign and respectful human being, hence also representing the new breed of mixed martial artists outside the cage.

    The favourable attributes are hardly surprising given that Jones’ father is a well-respected community pastor, a man of the faith who has evidently inculcated all the associated wholesome values into his offspring.

    Whilst not always proving the politically-correct figurehead of the company, Dana White demands professionalism from his organisation’s athletes—for them to be ambassadors for the sport and further dispel the notion of bloodthirsty cage-fighting thugs as it continues its ongoing plight to be fully accepted by the mainstream.

    Articulate, intelligent, educated, charming, affable, handsome, confident (though detractors might suggest that his confidence spills over into arrogance): Jones exudes all the positive character traits sought after by the company CEO, leading Dana White to appropriate Jones as the UFC’s poster-boy.

    In many senses, he is a marketer’s dream, having already been latched onto by Urijah Faber’s “Form Athletics,” and recently releasing his own model of K-Swiss trainer.

    In conjunction with Dana White, Jonny is spearheading the campaign to legalise MMA in NY, featured alongside his boss in the new Bud Lite-UFC joint commercial and recently impressed with his dazzling performance on the Jay Leno Tonight Show (in which he was fondled by a lustful Kirstie Alley)—a further opportunity to guarantee positive PR for MMA in light of Jones’ recent heroics in thwarting and apprehending a petty theft (just hours prior to his scheduled bout with Shogun Rua).

    The UFC president promptly conjured up the nickname “kickass,” and also asserted that had he delivered a baby after winning the title, it would have been the most incredible day ever for the newly-crowned superhero.

    Following the pattern evidenced with erstwhile precocious talents, there are those who opine that JBJ will inevitably encounter difficulties outside the cage, citing Mike Tyson as a prime example. I personally feel that JBJ's stable upbringing, education and strong family unit are factors which render it less likely for him to drift wayward.

    For you, does JBJ exhibit supreme confidence or unadulterated pretentiousness?

4. MMA's Aristotle

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    I believe in the law of attraction, and I believe that you can speak things into existence. And I believe that when you know where you're going, and you know what you want, the universe has a way of stepping aside for you.

    Again, attributable to his pious father, Jones is an overtly spiritual character, and in fact was en route to meditate amidst nature when he embarked on his heroic pursuit of the GPS (not GSP, nobody could physically steal George's) thief.

    Also, in a somewhat alternative interview conducted by Ariel Helwani pre-128, “Bones” proceeded to enunciate an abstract theory regarding existential matters which served to confound most listeners. It was a philosophical monologue which showcased Jones’ ability to cogitate above and beyond the norm, and perhaps proved esoteric for the majority of listeners, who deemed it nonsensical rambling.

    However, who knows, in years to come we may be quoting Jones' poignant mantras, in very much the same way as contemporary philosophy students cite Aristotle.

     JBJ musings: Profound insight or incoherent self-indulgence?

    N.B. Jones even refuses to utilise mild expletives, spelling out a-s-s rather than saying it. He really is a marketer's dream.

5. MMA's McDonalds or Burger King?

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    Having ushered in this new epoch of MMA, the “Jon Jones Era” as it has been labelled, Bones will always be remembered as the pioneer for the new-school fighter.

    However, according to Rashad Evans, he is not a sartorial innovator.

    Indeed, “Suga” has accused Jones of being a “swagger jacker,” which, translated from hip-hop vernacular, signifies that he has purloined his style. Jones has subsequently confessed to sporting the exact same suit as Evans for his Jay Leno appearance, but simultaneously claimed that the UFC had purchased the attire on his behalf.

    On further inspection, JBJ has also appeared to “jack” Rashad’s training camp, crawl-into-the-octagon entrance, and post-fight swaggerific gesticulations and body movements.

    This style-stealing allegation is of course one of the many criticisms levelled at Jones by a seething Evans.

    He also asserted that Jones is “fake,” following the Jackson-gate debacle. Essentially, master tactician Greg Jackson has always attempted to cultivate a fraternity within his prestigious Albuquerque camp.

    Having maintained the “we will not fight each other under any circumstances” pact, Jones contravened the camp ethos by publicly declaring that he would square off against Rashad. This inevitably led to an upheaval, with Jackson ostensibly saddened by the news and Rashad feeling compelled to switch his long-time training camp.

    One piece of counsel for Rashad when their paths eventually do cross: go in hard on Jones’s susceptible hand when the ref urges you to “touch ‘em up” before the fight.

    As alluded to previously, Jones will look to compete at heavyweight in the future, but has out-ruled the possibility of encountering his “friend” Anderson Silva in a “super-fight” in the imminent future. If history is anything to heed, we shall wait for Jones to reassess.

    Is Jones a “swagger-jacker” or trendsetter?

6. Jonny "BONES" Jones

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    His nickname, “Bones,” was a moniker attached to him by his college football acquaintances, stemming from his “chicken legs,” whose scrawniness would be accentuated in his full-kit.

    The patent bonus is the rhyme scheme between his nickname and surname. 

    He was considering the nickname “lightning” for reasons which are self-explanatory, but in the end opted for “Bones,” which suggests that Jonny can be self-deprecating—another endearing quality to add to the ever-growing list.

    Are there any other nicknames that would be appropriate for JBJ?

7. A Man After Dana's Own Tweeting Heart

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    He’s a Twitter-fanatic, with approximately 100,000 followers.

    In addition to (re-)informing you that he is the UFCs youngest ever champion, he will gladly and shamelessly endorse his Twitter address, with a clear desire to build his fighter brand.

    His tweets tend to consist of inspirational quotes, spiritual guidance, fraternal banter with Arthur and Chandler, and back-and-forth exchanges with nemesis Rashad. All in all, quite diverse and entertaining. 

    Is JBJ the most entertaining tweeter in the UFC?

8. A Role Model to the Kids

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    In keeping with his diligently-crafted outward persona (some critics and cynics are ambivalent as to whether he is genuine, though I happen to think he is), he is not a fan of public displays of lewdness, namely Rampage’s motor-boating of Karyn Bryant. He implores Rampage to reserve such inappropriate acts for indoors.

    His impending match-up with Rampage is intriguing on various levels, primarily because they are polar opposites, as both combatants inside the cage and characters outside of it. Inside the Octagon, Rampage fights with reckless abandon whilst Jones is more calculated. Outside the Octagon, despite both men being educated, Rampage is impulsive and brash; Jones is considerate and sophisticated.

    In fact, their fighting styles reflect their personalities.

    However, what they both share in common is a rawness which virtually guarantees exhilarating action.

    Who do you like between Jones and Rampage? Why?

9. MMA's Michael Jackson?

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    As the King of Pop once famously uttered, "It don't matter if you're black or white."

    And perhaps most surprising, Jon Bones Jones is actually Caucasian. Yes, this revelation was unearthed by arch-rival Rashad Evans via Twitter during one of their customary online interchanges.

    Rashad openly declared that Bones is in fact a “white boy,” leading the MMA community to temporarily consider booking in for a colour-blindness test. If he is a superhero, maybe one of his powers is switching skin colour as he pleases. At one point, I thought it may have only been possible for former LHW champions to be able to perceive this illusion.

    However, Rashad thankfully elucidated on the matter, explicating that the appellation was a metaphor inferring that “Bones” pretends to be something he isn’t, rather than a direct insult aimed at white folk. That at least spares us all a trip to the optician.

    Is JBJ really black or white (in the metaphorical sense proposed by Evans of course)?

10. MMA's Next Hollywood Star?

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    Jon Jones has announced that he has recently held meetings with Warner Bros executives, hinting that he may follow a legion of fellow fighters into the realm of acting, an option which Dana White has surprisingly discouraged.

    Dana recently revealed that "Bones" even struggled with the phrase "Here we go" during their filming of the Bud Lite commercial, which does not augur well for Jones unless he has designs on playing a mute character. However, Dana undoubtedly harbours ulterior motives in downplaying any prospective alternate careers for his organisation's golden boy.

    A word of counsel for JBJ: whilst undoubtedly possessing that much-vaunted Hollywood smile, he ought to peruse the following list which underscores the seemingly inauspicious effects of juggling a career behind the camera and inside the cage.

    Can JBJ intermittently act and fight with success?

Bonus Fact: JBJ Can Dougie

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    Question is: Who Dougies better, Jones or Faber?