Jonny “Bones” Jones will attempt tomorrow night to become the youngest UFC champion in history when he takes on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 128. He recently told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that he believes he is already well on his way to achieving that goal by virtue of holding a mental edge over the champion.
“I feel as if I’ve maybe gotten in their head a little bit and maybe they feel as if they’re backs against the wall and that’s great, hopefully that brings out a really vicious ‘Shogun.’ I’m definitely going to be as vicious as possible, so it calls for a great fight,” Jones asserted.
Jones has not denied feeling nervous leading up to the biggest fight of his life, but he has maintained that he will use that nervous energy to carry him onward to victory, saying that he is working hard to get his butterflies to “fly in formation.”
“Basically it means: when you have butterflies and you’re feeling anxious and you have anxiety or are nervous, that’s when you’re most powerful, I believe,” he said. “…A lot of people, instead of honing this power and using it, they allow it to just consume them. There’s another quote that says, ‘A big challenge, a big pressure is like a fire, it’s like a raging fire. Either you can allow this fire to consume you and just take you over completely, or you can gain control of this fire and harness it and you blow it right at your opponent, Dragonball Z style.’ That’s what I’m trying to do, trying to get my emotions under control and use this adrenaline to my advantage.”
As for the technical aspects of Rua’s game that Jones is looking to exploit, he pointed to the Pride FC veteran’s general grappling game as being the weakest aspect of his fighting style.
“‘Shogun’s’ biggest weakness is definitely his wrestling and I think his jiu-jitsu is also very overrated,” he said.
Rua and Jones meet tomorrow night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey; don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage to see whether or not Jones’ butterfly formations will help usher in a new 205lbs. champ.