Jones wants bigger names
Octagonside by Andreas Hale
Apparently, the Octagon is Jon “Bones” Jones world and everyone that ends up trapped inside his cage can, and will, be just another victim for Jones to test out his dazzling array of weapons. After turning in yet another virtuoso performance at UFC On Versus against Vladimir Matyushenko, Jones – as modestly as one can possibly put it – is asking the UFC to give him a bigger fish to fry because, quite frankly, this was just too easy.
“Every opponent I’ve had has been really tough,” Jones said during the post fight press conference. “I’m passing these tests with flying colors. I really don't want to sound arrogant, so I've got to be careful the way I word this, but I want to fight someone who's really going to give me a really tough test. That has to be the champion or whoever. I want to fight someone who's supposedly much better than me.”
When asked to specify who is “better” than Jones, the 23-year-old avoided specifics but asked for “the top 3 contenders” but quickly noted that he wouldn’t fight his Jackson Submission Fighting teammate Rashad Evans.
That would mean that Jones is indirectly asking for champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and the other top fighter not named Rashad Evans would be out of Lyoto Machida, “Rampage” Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Noguiera and Ryan Bader. Any one of those names sound extremely appetizing for fight fans. Many would be quick to say that Jones could upend any of the names listed, but “Bones” would be the last to say that he’s the best in the light heavyweight division.
“My mom would say ‘God don’t like ugly, Jon,’” Jones said. “Being cocky sucks. I’m just really aware there are better fighters out there still. There are guys with great jiujitsu, great wrestling and great striking. I haven’t proven myself against a top five contender, so I have no real way to think I’m the man.”
A greater challenge down the line could come to fruition as Jones is still growing into his 6’4” body. The idea of competing at heavyweight is something that has been tossed around and Jones is open to the opportunity should it come his way.
Citing that he came in at 226 pounds, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for Jones to make the heavyweight division a few sleepless nights should he choose to play with the bigger guys. But Brock Lesnar doesn’t have to worry about Jones just yet because the prodigy has a specific name on his list that he would love to check off.
“There’s a heavyweight I’d like to fight and that’s James Toney,” Jones said with a wry smile. The former boxing champion is preparing for his August 28th throw down with Randy Couture and has recently said he’d “slap” Jones. “I’d bump up for that fight any day.”
In the meanwhile, Jones will continue to work with striking coaches Phil Nurse and Mike Winklejohn as well as allow Greg Jackson to continue rounding out his skill set. But the scary thing is that we have only seen a mere fraction of what Jones can do in the cage.
“The problem I was having in this training camp was when I was sparring and I had all these moves in my head that when I was sparring I didn’t know what to do,” Jones told FightNews. “I have a few moves that are my favorite ‘go to’ moves but I would get confused with what I’d want to do.”
Jones said that his coaches had to tell him to calm down, stick to the game plan and not worry about getting too creative.
“When it comes to stand up, there’s a lot of stuff that I haven’t tried to do in a fight yet. Wrestling-wise I feel the same way. You’ve seen most of my throws but I’m just a baby at jiujitsu,” Jones said with the enthusiasm of a kid who is constantly finding new toys.
Ultimately, Jones understands that he is still a young fighter with lots to learn and he’s perfectly comfortable taking the time to learn it.
"I've got a lot of work to do, and there's a quote that says, 'A real black belt is a black belt because he's aware of how much he doesn't know,'” Jones explains. “I'm just aware that I'm still a kid in this sport, and I have a lot more maturing to do as a man and as an athlete. I'm just going to stay on the ground."
UFC On Versus 2 Bonuses
Knockout of the Night – Takanori Gomi ($40k)
Submission of the Night – Charles Oliveira ($40k)
Fight of the Night – Brian Stann Vs Mike Massenzio ($40k each)