UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has become the toast of the MMA world thanks to his entertaining, at-times-unbelievable skills and the way by which he’s dispatched of every opponent put in front of him at only 24 years of age.
Bones further impresses each time he enters the cage and, considering how young he is, it really looks like the sky is the limit for the endlessly talented fighter. Having defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to earn the belt and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to defend it, Jones has more than proven his ability and effectiveness in the cage. That, as well as his professionalism outside of the cage, have UFC president Dana White singing Jones’ praise unabashedly.
“Well, to be honest with you – I’ve said it many times, this guy is the whole package, he has everything – the thing that’s impressed me the most is, at such a young age, taking on these big names and beating them the way that he has,” said White. “You’re talking about guys like Shogun and Rampage, guys that have been around forever. And even guys that are respectable. He might not be a household name, but Vladimir Matyushenko. When he beat Matyushenko, I was blown away by how he had done it. And the fact that he’s this young, is expecting his next fight to be Rashad Evans, that fight gets pulled out because Rashad is hurt and then to have to face a guy like Lyoto – he’s dealing with a lot of stuff that puts a lot of pressure on normal people at a very young age and I’m very impressed with the way he’s been handling himself, not only leading up to these fights, but in the actual fights.”
With two former champions’ scalps already on his mantle and possibly one more on the way, Jones is quickly beginning to make the light heavyweight division look talent-deprived, when it was once hailed as the promotion’s glamour division. White concedes that Jones has already passed his expectations as a result of this and that it’s almost scary to think of the heights he could reach considering that he likely hasn’t yet reached his prime.
“It’s unbelievable,” White said of Jones’ success. “It’s like when, before the Rampage fight, when everybody was talking pound-for-pound and all that I said, ‘Yeah, if he beats Rampage I’ll give him the respect pound-for-pound, but I don’t want to put so much pressure on this guy that he has to feel like – he’s got a long way to go. You’re not in your prime until your 27, 28, 29-years-old. He’s only 24 and he’s fighting Lyoto Machida. He’s fighting all these guys who are legends. It’s pretty impressive. There’s a lot of people out there that talk smack about Jon – you have to respect what this kid has been able to do at such a young age and how he’s done it.”