As a part of our content agreement with The Bubba the Love Sponge Show® website, BTLS.com, our content is not only featured in their MMA section but BTLS will also be providing us with content from time-to-time.
I’ve covered the NFL for many years and followed the career of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Marcus Jones for several years. Jones has retired from the NFL but has not retired as an active athlete. He’s currently working towards a career in professional MMA and is training with Rob Kahn at Gracie Tampa.
Gracie Tampa houses several pro MMA fighters such as Alan “Monsta Lobsta” Berube from the fifth season of TUF and Matt Arroyo from season six of TUF. Brent Hatley, Bubba’s executive producer, also trains at the school and has one amateur Muay Thai match under his belt.
I’ve yet to see Jones in action but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a professional athlete who stands 6’6” and weighs 262 lbs. that’s also getting the proper training is going to definitely be a prospect to watch in a weight class that is thin when it comes to up and coming talent.
Special thanks go out to Jaeger, the webmaster of BTLS.com, for not only making the interview available here on 5 Oz. but for also conducting it.
Marcus Jones interview by Jaeger from BTLS.com
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with former NFL player Marcus Jones the most recent Gracie Tampa student to turn professional MMA fighter.
Marcus Jones along with his trainer Rob Kahn were recent guests on The Bubba the Love Sponge Show®. What I expected was a former professional athlete in search of the glory days of yesterday, what I found was a dedicated mixed martial artist with a different approach than many former professional athletes attempting to make their transition to MMA.
Jaeger: With the recent rise in popularity of MMA in the U.S. it seems as if many former NFL players are looking to try their luck in the ring/cage. What makes your approach different than say a Johnnie Morton’s?
Marcus Jones: First off, I’ve been a long time fan of the sport, and I have followed in seriously for a long time. I think what makes me different is the fact that I knew it would be important that I learn on the ground first.
Jaeger: You’re a big guy, 6’ 6” 262lbs, it is just natural that most people will expect you to favor a stand up fight, you train with Rob Kahn at Gracie Tampa and have really been working on your ground game, how comfortable are you at this point on the ground?
Marcus Jones: At this point I’m very comfortable on the ground, on my back…
Rob Kahn: When Marcus first came to the gym, the first thing we worked on was him working off his back. He is very fast, and has very good submissions from his back. With a guy as strong as Marcus he is a real handful, the amount of torque he can create is amazing. I have rolled with some big men such as Shaq, who are legendary for their strength, and that is nothing in comparison to rolling with Marcus at this point.
Jaeger: Was there any one certain moment when you knew that you had to do this, and decided to commit yourself to training and eventually fighting?
Marcus Jones: Yes, my friends and I were long time fans of MMA. We were out at Shepherd’s (a local Tampa hot spot) and had a few drinks. We decided to wrestle around a bit and decided that we would use punches and kicks and knees. We moved all the furniture from the area and began. My best friend didn’t tell any of us that he had been training Kenpo. He caught me with an uppercut that made my jaw swell, and then double under hooked me and threw me in back of some cabinets. We went to breakfast after that and I couldn’t open my mouth. The next day I called Gracie Tampa and told them I wanna learn Jiu-Jitsu right now.
Jaeger: How does your MMA workout compare against the workouts you did as member of the Tampa Bay Bucs?
Marcus Jones: They are completely different. If I knew what I know now back then, I would have been a better all around football player. I would have never been tired. It’s two different beasts, in football it’s all about explosive, this stuff you go all out for 5 minutes it’s non stop movement, it’s the most unbelievable cardio workout I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.
Jaeger: You will be making your Professional MMA Debut on October 26 at WFC Cage Wars V, are you starting to experience any nerves as that date draws closer?
Marcus Jones: I wouldn’t say I am nervous, I’m excited. I’m excited to be validated.
Jaeger: Have you set any career goals for yourself as an MMA fighter?
Marcus Jones: Yes, I’d like to go as far as I can. I’d like to win it all. I also have to thank my wife for being very supportive of my decision to do this. We have made a deal, if I lose 2 fights it’s over… LOL.
I want to thank Marcus Jones and Rob Kahn from Gracie Tampa for taking time out of their busy schedules to sit down with me today. I would encourage anyone in the greater Tampa Bay area to stop by and witness the professional MMA debut of Marcus at WFC V: Cage Wars at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, FL Fri, Oct 26, 2007 08:00 PM
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