It's pretty tough to look at guy who is built like an NFL wide receiver or an NBA two-guard and call him small but Jon "Bones" Jones has become accustomed to it. He walks around at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds but he's the shrimp of the Jones boys. Both of his brothers play football at Syracuse and dwarf the real tough guy in the family.
The 21-year-old Jones skipped the chance to go to a four-year school after junior college to try his hand at mixed martial arts. So far, so good. His first pro fight was last April, he beat Andre Gusmao at UFC 87 and now he's just days away from fighting at UFC 94 against a top 20 light heavyweight fighter.
After just seven pro fights, a test against a guy like Stephan Bonnar may be a little too soon but Jones is ready to roll the dice:
"At first, I was surprised the UFC would want to match me up against Stephan Bonnar so early in my career. I really don't have the experience that he has but at the same time I worked really hard. If I wasn't meant to be here, I wouldn't be here. I honestly think this fight with Stephan Bonnar is my destiny and he'll be a steppingstone for me."
That's not to say that he thinks Bonnar isn't a great fighter. Bonnar is coming off a 15 month layoff because of bad knee injury, Jones is hoping that he's catching The Ultimate Fighter 1 finalist at the right time:
"I also know that he's training with Randy Couture and Master Toddy and (Floyd) Mayweather, all these top notch trainers. I'm sure he's gonna have slight ring rust but I've prepared for him to be an absolute monster."
Watch Cage Writer with Jones:
Jones' old brother Arthur is a 6-4, 291-pound defensive tackle who just nabbed All-Big East honors and is likely to be picked in the first three rounds of the NFL draft next year. His "little" brother, Chandler is a 6-6, 238-pound defensive end. Jon went the wrestling route from an early age winning a JUCO national title at Iowa Central C.C. before he turned down a full ride to wrestle for Cael Sanderson at Iowa State.
Join CageWriter on Saturday night. Maggie Hendricks will host a live chat throughout the PPV portion of UFC 94. Cofield will be cageside with updates on all 10 fights. And don't miss the only post-fight wrap-up show from the MGM starting at 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET
- Stephan Bonnar