UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could have followed in the footsteps of Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin, but his age was a negative for him. Jones recently told MMAjunkie.com that he tried out for The Ultimate Fighter, but was denied a spot because he was only 20 years old at the time.
“I tried out for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ back when I was 20 years old,” Jones said. “I remember making it through the first round and then approaching a table to grapple for the second round and having (UFC president) Dana (White) saying, ‘Man, you’re too young. You’re 20 years old and you have to be 21 to apply for this show.”
Jones, who is currently filming his role as a coach on the upcoming season of TUF, was allowed to roll anyway, and would go on to join the UFC just a month after turning 21.
“It’s kind of surreal to me to know that just four-and-a-half years ago I was trying out for the show,” Jones said. “It’s just surreal to be a guy who was rejected from the show and now be the coach.”
Jones will be coaching opposite Chael Sonnen on TUF 17, which debuts in January on FX. The two will square off in April for the title.