Is Anybody as Well-Rounded as Jon Jones? The UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Looks Invincible… It’s Easy to Forget That He Has One Loss on His Record…
Earlier this week, Dana White made waves by saying he was in talks with the Nevada Athletic Commission to overturn Jon Jones’s only loss. That came by disqualification ten years ago when he fought Matt Hammill. Jones threw an illegal 12-6 elbow after dominating the entire fight. As a result, he has a blemish on his record.
While it’s reasonable to say that the rule is stupid and worthy of a no-contest, it’s also very reasonable to say that Jones knew the rule coming into the fight, yet still chose to break it. It’s also so long ago that it could get very messy by overturning one fighter’s result. What happens when the rest of the roster, past and present demands the same?
For what it’s worth, Jones isn’t the one pushing this. He understands the marketing nature of it and definitely isn’t going to stand in the way of having that ‘0’ back on his record. You can’t blame him for that. He’s more focused on the future than the past.
Jones seems genuinely ambivalent about whether or not his only ‘loss’ is overturned to a no-contest. He has had ten years to come to terms with the defeat and it would be a little bit of a dubious precedent for it to be changed now. Although, Jones has been the subject of dubious precedents in the past. He told ESPN:
“I’ve learned not to care about it. I feel like sometimes when a fighter is undefeated, they start to fight to protect this undefeated record instead of taking on new challenges and risking taking on scary guys. So there is some good in not technically being called that undefeated fighter, but I do also understand that on the promotional side, there’s so much Dana White could do with marketing his light heavyweight champion as this undefeated fighter.
It just makes it a bigger deal to the rest of the world. If it happened, that’d be great. But if not, I’ve already gotten comfortable with that Matt Hamill loss experience. At the end of the day, it was my mistake, and it was a good learning experience for me.”
The only other fighter on the roster with a similar invincible aura about them is lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagamedov. Unless he causes his own destruction, Jones doesn’t look like getting legitimately beaten anytime soon. He’s preparing for Thiago Santos now and seems very calm about it. He said:
”Greg Jackson (Jackson-Wink MMA head coach) always talks to me about Rome and how they were so dominant because they fought all the time. And he wants that to be the idea for me, to be extremely active and just get so comfortable with combat and that’s where we’re at. I’m not injured anywhere and it just feels like another day at the office for me at this point, it’s all so familiar.
High-pressure moments, tough opponents, fighting the next scariest guy, the guy that’s on a tear. And it’s all so familiar right now. It’s almost too comfortable in this space. I’d appreciate being a little more nervous, it would make me feel like I’m more ready. But I am ready and I feel great.”
‘Bones’ is human though. When Brett Okamoto asked him about the last time he felt nervous, he opened up and revealed that his rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, earlier this year, was the most recent time he genuinely felt pressure coming into a fight. It turned into a dominant win for the champion.
”Last time, Gustafsson 2,” Jones said. “You can’t help it, he was the one person that put me in the hospital after 10 years of fighting. Put me on morphine. The guy who was just as tall, just as long as me. Gustafsson, I had a lot of questions about how I would perform in a rematch against Gustafsson. And those questions were answered, and I liked the answers.”
Now Thiago Santos will be asking him questions. It’s up to Jones to prove that this is his time.