Jon Jones UFC Fighter Profile

History will not be kind to Jon Jones, who was widely considered to be one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of all time when he was just in his mid-twenties.

However, an almost never ending array of transgressions derailed his career and potentially his future legacy as a fighter, which overshadowed his consistent stellar performances throughout his career.

 


Jon Jones Bio and Stats

  • Weight class: Light-heavyweight (205 lbs)
  • Nationality / birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
  • Fighting style: Wrestling and grappling
  • Age: Born 20 March 1979
  • Height: 1.93m
  • UFC debut: UFC 87 on August 9, 2008

 


Jon Jones MMA History

Jones was born into an athletic family – his two brothers are both professional footballers in the NFL – and he also played American football and wrestling during his high school years. He continued to wrestle in college, before he dropped out to pursue an MMA career.

It was a career that started quickly, with Jones having won his first four professional MMA fights within a month in regional events throughout the northeast USA. Two more quick victories on the regional circuit followed before he received a short notice call up to the UFC to face Andre Gusmao at UFC 87.

Jon Jones UFC Debut

Jones’ UFC debut at the young age of 21 was, by all definitions, successful. He won by unanimous decision in a performance that got many fans and pundits talking about his youth, unorthodox style and his unusual physical attributes (a 6’4 light heavyweight with an 84.5 inch reach).

Victories against Stephan Bonnar and Jake O’Brien soon followed before the only official glitch on Jones’ solid professional record, a disqualification loss to Matt Hammill, occurred. In that match, Jones dominated the first round with his long range striking, wrestling and ground and pound before a series of illegal 12-6 elbows to Hammill prompted the referee to halt the action.

A bloodied Hammill was found to have suffered a dislocated shoulder and he was awarded a controversial (as the injury was viewed as not being caused by the elbows) disqualification victory.

That would not deter Jones, however, as he quickly bounced back to win his first ever Main Event bout in the UFC. It came against striking standout Brandon Vera, who Jones dominated on the ground en route to a vicious KO victory which broke Vera’s face in three places.

Jones then stopped durable veteran Vladimir Matyushenko before giving The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Ryan Bader his first ever professional MMA loss. The win against Bader came at a time when Light Heavyweight title challenger Rashad Evans was forced to pull out of his scheduled title fight against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua due to injury, and Jones accepted an offer to replace him.

Credit: Flickr / Jon Jones

 

Jon Jones Career Highlights

The fight came just six weeks after Jones’ victory against Bader, but any doubts about a full fight camp were quickly quashed as Jones dominated the Brazilian champion from the opening bell. A beatdown of epic proportions occurred over two and a half rounds before Rua was eventually forced to tap to strikes, which officially made Jon Jones the youngest ever UFC champion.

A one-by-one dismantling of the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division and every viable contender within it would follow. It started with a submission victory over Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 135 and followed with a second-round victory over former champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 140.

Victories over former UFC champions and veterans Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort were easily the highlights for Jones in 2012. That year also had its lowlights as two major controversies – a drink driving charge and the cancellation of UFC 151 – marred Jones consistently strong MMA performances.

However, with four title defences on his record, Jones was widely touted to break the Light Heavyweight defence record in 2013. That was exactly what he did, as wins against Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson made Jones the most successful Light Heavyweight champion in UFC history.

In what would end up being Jones’ only fight in 2014, Jones beat heavily hyped fighter Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, which marked 20 MMA victories for the New York native. He then dominated undefeated fighter, and former Olympic wrestler, Daniel Cormier in the Main Event of UFC 182.

Watch Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier Video Highlights

Jon Jones Drug Controversy

Despite the stunning victory, the win was overshadowed by news that Jones has tested positive to cocaine in a drug test just weeks prior to UFC 182. Although Jones was not rebuked for this indiscretion due to cocaine not being banned out-of-competition, the controversy was a precursor of what was to come.

In April 2015, just three months after his victory against Cormier, Jones was arrested for a hit-and-run incident that was so controversial it resulted in him being stripped of his Light Heavyweight title and Reebok ending their sponsorship agreement with Jones.

The incident involved Jones running a red light and crashing into two vehicles, one of which had a pregnant woman inside. Jones fled the scene of the accident before returning to collect cash from his vehicle and leaving again.

Jon Jones Suspension Saga

Jones avoided a jail term after pleading guilty to charges associated with the incident, and returned to the UFC in April 2016, beating Ovince St. Preux for the interim UFC Light Heavyweight title. Jones was then due to rematch Cormier – the undisputed UFC Light Heavyweight champion – at UFC 200, but was pulled from the card and stripped of his interim belt due to violating USADA’s doping policy.

The violation resulted in a one-year suspension for Jones, who then rematched Cormier for the Light Heavyweight belt just weeks after his suspension was completed. Jones beat Cormier via knockout in the third round to recapture the belt he had once held for years, and it looked like Jones was back where he belonged.

Watch Highlights of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 2

Just three weeks after reclaiming the belt, Jones tested positive for anabolic steroids, which resulted his UFC 214 victory over Cormier being changed to a No Contest and – for the third time – being stripped of the title.

That indiscretion heralded a fall from grace for the man who was well on his way to becoming a true legend of the sport. If found guilty of the latest steroid violation, Jones could be suspended for up to four years, which could all but end his MMA career.

Jon Jones UFC and MMA Record

Result

Record

Opponent

Method

Date

NC 22–1 (1) Daniel Cormier NC (overturned) July 29, 2017
Win 22–1 Ovince Saint Preux Decision (unanimous) April 23, 2016
Win 21–1 Daniel Cormier Decision (unanimous) January 3, 2015
Win 20–1 Glover Teixeira Decision (unanimous) April 26, 2014
Win 19–1 Alexander Gustafsson Decision (unanimous) September 21, 2013
Win 18–1 Chael Sonnen TKO (elbows and punches) April 27, 2013
Win 17–1 Vitor Belfort Submission (americana) September 22, 2012
Win 16–1 Rashad Evans Decision (unanimous) April 21, 2012
Win 15–1 Lyoto Machida Technical Submission (standing guillotine choke) December 10, 2011
Win 14–1 Quinton Jackson Submission (rear-naked choke) September 24, 2011
Win 13–1 Maurício Rua TKO (punches and knees) March 19, 2011
Win 12–1 Ryan Bader Submission (guillotine choke) February 5, 2011
Win 11–1 Vladimir Matyushenko TKO (elbows) August 1, 2010
Win 10–1 Brandon Vera TKO (elbow and punches) March 21, 2010
Loss 9–1 Matt Hamill DQ (illegal elbows) December 5, 2009
Win 9–0 Jake O’Brien Submission (guillotine choke) July 11, 2009
Win 8–0 Stephan Bonnar Decision (unanimous) January 31, 2009
Win 7–0 André Gusmão Decision (unanimous) August 9, 2008
Win 6–0 Moyses Gabin TKO (punches) July 12, 2008
Win 5–0 Parker Porter KO (punch) June 20, 2008
Win 4–0 Ryan Verrett TKO (punches) May 9, 2008
Win 3–0 Anthony Pina Submission (guillotine choke) April 25, 2008
Win 2–0 Carlos Eduardo KO (punch) April 19, 2008
Win 1–0 Brad Bernard TKO (punches) April 12, 2008

Follow updates on Jon Jones in our daily UFC news and regularly updated fight previews.

Facebook Comments