UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones may be touted by many as peerless pugilist after achieving in a few years what MMA’s greatest hope to accomplish in a career, winning the title and successfully defending it in dominating fashion against top ranked competition. However, “Bones” hasn’t bought into the opinions of others, instead being driven by a sense of professional paranoia as the man everyone is gunning for.
“I realize I have a target on my back like all champions do, and I have to train like I am the challenger in order to stay champion,” wrote Jones in a blog entry for FoxSports.
“You’ve seen it in other sports, when a young guy comes on the scene and does well, people get excited and start writing and saying ‘This guy can’t be beat.’ There’s a lot of hype about me right now; some media experts are saying I am unbeatable, but I know it’s not true. I wouldn’t bust my tail so hard in the gym if I was unbeatable,” he continued. “I honestly feel I am working harder than any other fighter in the light-heavyweight division. I am listening to my coaches, watching tapes of my opponent, and working very hard.”
Another source of motivation for Jones is undoubtedly the caliber of challenger he’ll face next month at UFC 145 when he faces rival and former champion Rashad Evans. Evans has expressed supreme confidence in his ability to beat the 24-year old on numerous occasions during the build towards their bout, citing his familiarity with Jones’ weaknesses based on their time training together as well as overall inexperience.
Similarly to the idea of being “unbeatable”, Jones also isn’t buying Evans’ bravado about having his number.
“On April 21 he’ll realize he doesn’t even have my area code,” Jones responded to the notion.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC