Last Saturday, March 19, 2011, I watched the UFC fight between light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and challenger Jon “Bones” Jones. It was a good fight, and surprisingly Jones dominated the match and defeated Rua in the third round, becoming the new light heavyweight champion and the youngest UFC champion ever. It was impressive, not just because of his age and that he won, but how he dominated the fight, and the way he racks up his victories. The twenty-three year old is always doing something different and unexpected. He throws spinning back elbows that are devastating when they land, he kicks, and he also takes people to the ground fast and has a good ground game. He is fun to watch, especially when the “flash” is not all show, but gets the job done and adds wins to his record.
I must also hand it to Rua, a formidable champion, and a heck of a fighter in his own right. He handled the defeat graciously and with a lot of class. I definitely respect that too, as I did with the comments of Jones after the fight.
It wasn’t till after the fight that I learned of another reason to be impressed with Jon Jones and respect him even more. It turns out, that just hours before I watched Jones fight with my friends on pay per view, Jones subdued a robber in the streets of Paterson, New Jersey. The soon to be mixed martial arts champion applied some of his training, along with his trainers, when they spotted a robber, chased him down, and then subdued him until police arrived to arrest the suspect.
It’s reported that Jones was on his way to meditate in front of a waterfall in Northern New Jersey with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn. The men saw a man breaking into a car and stealing from it, when they shouted, the man took off. All three of the men pursued the robber, and when the man fell, Jones was the first to catch up to him and tripped him again with a foot sweep.
The trainers didn’t want Jones to receive any kind of injury before the big fight, so they took over and secured the man until police arrived. Although, after the showing Jones put on Saturday night, it is probably lucky for the robber that the trainers took over.
With the negative press that some mixed martial artists receive, it is nice to see something good once in a while. Jones is an exciting fighter that will most likely have a long and amazing career in the UFC. But more than that, he, and his trainers, did the right thing and got involved when they had an opportunity to make a difference and do what’s right. And that is worth respecting, regardless of a person’s record in the octagon.
Picture by Tracy Lee