New UFC fighter Jon Jones (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) stopped by Pro MMA Radio to talk with host Larry Pepe about his new found fame, his victory over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94, and how he incorporates his wrestling backround into his MMA game.
Here are some highlights of their discussion:
Jon Jones is a Jr. College wrestling national champion, is undefeated in MMA, and is fresh off his victory over tough UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar (11-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and oh yeah, he is only 21.
Jones talked to host Lary Pepe about his fight with Bonnar and how he thought that the fight was definitly a defining point in his young career, “The fight with Stephan was definitly ya know something I had to prove to myself and prove to the UFC ya know that I was able to beat him and I’m able to be here in the UFC. I was kinda under the impression that they gave Stephan the fight against me to ya know give him a decent fight, a good comeback fight. Fighting a guy who is unexperienced, but I didn’t want to be anyone’s stepping stone. I just decided to reach out and grab this opportunity and ya know make Stephan Bonnar my stepping stone ya know. I had a great gameplain going into the fight but I guess I wasn’t expecting it to go as well as it did,” Jones said.
Jones is very young in his MMA career, he made his pro debut in April of 2008 and his UFC debut 4 months later in August. An achievement very few have come to realize so early in their MMA careers.
With a fight as important to the career of Jones as the fight with Bonnar, some are skeptical of the small camp in which he trains out of, “Ya it definitly gave me an extra sense of motivation. I knew beating Stephan Bonnar would be gigantic for my career and uh maybe he wasn’t even taking me serious, I dunno but I believe you really don’t need the biggest coaches in order to be successful. I’m out here in a little small town in upstate New York and ya know no one in my coaching staff has ever heard of them, but ya know we know how to work hard and how to push ourselves and ya know we proved it. We don’t need big names to be successful,” Jones said.
Jones believes that you should stick with your roots and believes that fighters like Josh Koscheck have only struggled when they didn’t execute their basics, such the case when Koscheck was out wrestled by George St. Pierre.
He also believes that his ground game is developing quickly and if he had to rank himself he would probably say either a brown or blue belt.
Though Jones is very confident in his skills he is not ignorant to the point of thinking he is perfect, “Oh absolutely, I was really dissapointed with my cardio. I had worked really hard on my cardio and I just hired a new fitness guy who works with doctors and older people and maybe he wasn’t pushing me as hard as he should have as far as me being an MMA fighter and not just some old guy trying to get in shape and uh I was dissapointed…,” Jones said.
While Jones has no idea who his next opponent will be, the young man has a great work ethic and a ton of potential in the very strong UFC light heavyweight division.
To hear this entire interview and all of their free archives go to Pro MMA Radio at www.prommaradio.com. Pro MMA Radio with host Larry Pepe airs every Monday evening at 6pm PT / 9pm ET.