UFC Light Heavyweight fighter, Jonny “Bones” Jones was live in attendance, along with his good friend and training partner, “Suga” Rashad Evans, at Raging Wolf X: Mayhem in the Mist (the Series) on Saturday November 6, which featured some really great local talent from the greater New York and Ontario areas.
The fights were being held at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, which is 100-percent owned by the Senaca Nation of Indians, thus by-passing the fact that MMA is still not legally permitted throughout other parts of New York State.
Jones initially trained with Team BombSquad out of Cortland, New York before briefly training with the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada. More recently however, Jones has been training out of Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I previously had the honour of speaking with his Coach
, DJ Jones.
“Bones” was described by UFC President Dana White as being one of the Top 8 Light Heavyweight fighters in the world, and he is currently scheduled to face the undefeated Ultimate Fighter winner, Ryan Bader, on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126.
This is my interview. Enjoy.
James Ryan: [Waiting for Jon to finish signing autographs for the fans. I feel that this takes priority over speaking with the media.]
Hey Jon, are you ready for me?
Jon Jones: For sure.
[Jon picks up the air horn from the cageside table and lets it blast]
Oh, that’s a keeper! [Laughs] That’s a keeper—I’m keeping this.
[Jon stuffs the air horn in his front pocket]
James Ryan: [Laughs] Nice.
So Jon, what did you think of the fights tonight?
Jon Jones: I thought that the whole night of fights was absolutely amazing. The talent keeps getting better, the show speaks for itself, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.
James Ryan: And speaking of which, how did you get to be a part of it?
Jon Jones: Well, I started working out with a guy named Stonehorse at the beginning of my career. He was my muay thai coach—a native American guy. Through working out with him, he started taking me to different reservations and I started to get to understand the people and a little bit more of the native culture. I just became a part of their family.
And I guess JC realized that I was a good guy and he must have thought that I would be good for his promotion to have around. I almost feel as though I’m the face when it comes to making appearances. I’m always here.
James Ryan: Is that right?
Jon Jones: Ya, I think I’ve already been to two of these, so ya, it’s awesome. I love just being a part of it. I have a lot of pride in it.
James Ryan: Well, I knew that you were from the area, so I figured that’s why you were involved, but then when I heard that they had others here like Royce Gracie, I thought—maybe it’s just through general networking?
Do you need special permission from the UFC to make these types of appearances?
Jon Jones: No, not at all. The UFC actually encourages us to go out and try to be the best possible representatives for this sport that we can be. They want us to go out and market ourselves and get our names out there. They don’t care. Those guys are...well you know...they don’t really have much competition.
James Ryan: They don’t?
Jon Jones: Not really.
Rest of interview