Jonathan Dwight Jones (born July 19, 1987) is a professional mixed martial artist from the United States who is currently the UFC Heavyweight Champion. He was the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion twice, from March 2011 to April 2015 and December 2018 to August 2020. In 2016, Jones also held the interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. He is ranked #10 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings as of February 14, 2023. Jones became the UFC’s youngest champion when he defeated Mauricio Rua at 23. He holds numerous UFC records in the light heavyweight division, including the most title defences, wins, and longest win streak.
Jon Jones Before and After
After teasing it for over a decade, Jon Jones will finally jump to heavyweight when he faces Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. The former light heavyweight champion has spent the last three years primarily displaying his powerlifting and discussing his heavyweight physique. Jones said during his “bulking phase” that he “can’t wait to see your boy in actual fight shape.”
Fight prep is done, and it’s UFC 285 fight week, so it seems like that day has come. We now have a pretty good idea of how Jones will look during his heavyweight debut on Saturday, thanks to a portrait shoot in his UFC fight kits, before and after photos of Jones as a light heavyweight during his last fight in 2020, and now as a heavyweight three years later in 2023 are shown below.
Jones, 35, has not fought since a contentious decision victory over Dominick Reyes in 2020. The former light heavyweight champion is 26-1 with one no-contest and recently stated that he was “chosen by god himself to be an undefeated fighter.”
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Jon Jones Early Life
Jones was born in Rochester, New York, on July 19, 1987. Arthur, his father, is the Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ pastor in Binghamton, New York. Arthur advised Jon against pursuing a fighting career “I wanted him to give a sermon. I tried to talk him out of being a fighter. I told him he shouldn’t do that. You have other options. Become a pastor.” Camille, Jon’s mother, died in 2017 at 55 after a long battle with diabetes.
Jon was the youngest of four children. His older brother, Arthur, is a former American football defensive lineman who played for the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins. In comparison, his younger brother, Chandler, is an outside linebacker for the Las Vegas Raiders. Carmen, his older sister, died of a brain tumour before she turned 18.
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Jon Jones Career Foundations
Jones was a standout high school wrestler and state champion at Union-Endicott High School in upstate New York before beginning his MMA career. He also played football as a defensive lineman, and his coach dubbed him “Bones” because of his small stature. At Iowa Central Community College, Jones won the NJCAA national championship. After transferring to Morrisville State College to study Criminal Justice, he dropped out and began his MMA career.
Jones made his UFC debut on August 9, 2008, against Andre Gusmo at UFC 87. On two weeks’ notice, he accepted the position as a last-minute replacement for Tomasz Drwal. Jones won unanimously (30-27, 29-28, and 30-27), employing takedowns and unconventional striking techniques such as spinning elbows and a spinning back kick.
Immediately following his fight with Bader, title contender and Jones’ training partner Rashad Evans suffered a knee injury in training and would be unable to compete in his scheduled fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jones was informed during the post-fight interview by Joe Rogan that he would replace Evans in the battle for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones became the youngest UFC champion when he defeated Rua by TKO at 2:37 of Round 3 on March 19, 2011.