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Part-Time Job Jones was a college wrestler and criminal justice student at Iowa Central when his girlfriend Jessie’s surprise pregnancy left him in need of quick cash. He visited an MMA gym and took his first fight within months – then five more in the next 3 months, winning them all. Jones and that girlfriend are now engaged with three daughters.
Quick Rise Jones entered the UFC in August 2008 on a few weeks’ notice, won, and was rewarded with bouts against future Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar and a UFC 100 spot against Jake O’Brien. Near effortless wins over veterans Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko followed before he dominated previously-unbeaten Ryan Bader at UFC 126. Jones’ only loss came at when a poor referee call resulted in a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, in a fight he was by all accounts winning soundly.
Title Shot After his UFC 126 win, while still inside the Octagon, Jones was offered the chance to step in for injured teammate Rashad Evans to face light heavyweight champ “Shogun” Rua on six weeks’ notice. Jones accepted and went on to dominate Rua as well as his subsequent opponents: “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort.
King Among Kings Just 23 years old when he defeated Shogun, Jones became the UFC’s youngest-ever world champion. Jones has successfully defended his light heavyweight title in a division-record eight consecutive fights. He’s also finished nine opponents by either knockout or submission, passing Chuck Liddell for most finishes in light heavyweight history.
Family Way Jones’ older brother Arthur plays for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts while younger sibling Chandler plays for the New England Patriots. It was those same brothers who dubbed him “Bones” growing up, since he was too skinny to find his footing on the gridiron.
Stand-Up Guy Jones is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn two submissions while standing, choking out both Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 and Jake O’Brien at UFC 100 with standing guillotine chokes (the other is Patrick Smith).