jon-jones-action-tested Jon Jones didn't live up to the hype, he far exceeded it. A lot of people thought Stephan Bonnar would be too much for the rising star, but Jones dominated the fight. I spoke to him about his big win at UFC 94. Hey, what's up Jon. Awesome performance against Stephan Bonnar. People are going nuts over you right now. Jones: Oh man. Looks like you're ready for the big leagues. Jones: I feel like it man. I feel ready. Trained real hard for that fight and yeah I'm definitely expecting for them to kick it up a notch again with whoever I fight next. Did you see the video clip of Dana White consoling Bonnar after the fight? Seems like he was really feeling sorry for the guy. Jones: Oh yeah, I saw that. He said "I love you like a son and don't hold your head down, that Jon kid is just a freak." Yeah, well if he loved him like a son, he wouldn't throw him in with a beast like you. Jones: (Laughs) That's funny. How were your nerves going into the fight? Jones: My nerves were 100 percent fine. For some reason, man, I had an unusual level of confidence and comfort. I was so comfortable, at one point it felt like maybe I was dreaming. My confidence was through the roof. I just had a feeling, I just knew I was gonna win it. I had dreams about it so many times that I won the fight. And a lot of friends of mine had dreams that I won the fight. Just my whole time being there, I kinda felt like I had already won the fight and I felt right at home. There were no UFC jitters whatsoever. I felt it was another day at the office. Which was great for me personally. I just showed myself how ready I am. And then the fight started and you came out with guns blazing. Jones: Oh yeah. When I stood in front in front of him and Steve Mazzagotti said "Let's get it on," right away I wanted to let him know that I wasn't going to let him just have his pace in the fight. In training I've been thinking about moves I wanted to hit right away. And when I got out there and I saw that leg bouncing up in the air, I said alright, now it's time for me to pull the trigger. And that's basically all it was, just me not waiting around for him to fight his fight, but pulling the trigger and fighting my fight. Then every time he clinched, he went for a ride. Jones: Oh yeah. But that didn't stop him from clinching. Were you surprised that even after you tossed him a few times, he still tried to clinch up with you? Jones: I think that's going to be a problem for a lot of fighters. It comes really natural for people to clinch up, especially when strikes are being thrown, and big hits are landed. Once you do something so much, it's going to be hard for fighters to break out of that bad habit of clinching right away. The clinch is huge in mixed martial arts. And right now I have a major advantage over tons of fighters because I've been clinching my whole life. And there's definite rules and definite no-nos when you're clinching with someone when it comes to Greco. And [opponents] so far have done everything wrong from the clinch, besides striking. So when they clinch up, you go into Greco-Roman mode and toss them. Jones: Exactly. And it's not even that I go into Greco mode. Because it's not even thought about or set up. It's just like, I know at least 20 different ways of throwing people. And half of them were on display last Saturday night. Jones: (Laughs) Yeah, Bonnar was doing all the Greco-Roman no-nos. The first 2 rounds were all you. Then in the third, the momentum seemed to shift a bit. At one point he was working for a triangle. What were you thinking at that moment? Jones: Right away, I realized I was in a triangle. It was a beautiful set up, I didn't see it coming at all. And I thought to myself, Dear God, please do not let this fight end like this. And right away, the instinct and the practicing and knowing the proper thing to do, I postured up, kept my head up which made it almost impossible for him to finish the triangle. So I reacted well and did what I was supposed to do. Then there were some exchanges on the feet and he landed some upper cuts, a couple of them kind of snapped your head up. What went through your mind when he connected like that? Jones: I was definitely starting to feel fatigued in the third round and that's a big part of it. That's something that I realize is a weakness right now--or it hasn't been a weakness, it is actually my first time getting fatigued. But it's something that my opponents are gonna find as a weakness and I'm sure they'll try to push me harder. And I'm not going to allow that to happen, where I allow my cardio to be an issue. It is a learning experience. But yeah, I knew that I was winning the fight going into the third round and in my head I kept praying to myself, God please don't let any of his punches land just correctly or torque me just right, where he would wind up winning the fight by knockout. Yeah, he started coming on strong late. Jones: I realized that he was starting to come back a little bit and those uppercuts definitely were landing, but nothing really stung me at all. I just clinched down and kept my chin down and I was ready to take a couple of blows to the face. The fatigue kind of took away some of your defense. Jones: Yeah. It wasn't really about my defense going away. I mean, the fatigue was slowing down my footwork. I was trying to stay light on my feet. And my whole goal for this fight was to hit and not be hit. Once that fatigue kicked in, that whole hit and not be hit theory wasn't working, because my legs weren't moving. So I actually had to sit there and go blow for blow. Which is something I was trying to avoid because I know Stephan's boxing combinations are way more crisper than mine. He's a two time Chicago Golden Gloves champion and I knew that if I would have sat there and exchanged with him all night I would not have won the fight. So it was all about hitting and not being hit and in the third round fatigue stopped that. In the stand up do you think your reach was a big factor? Jones: Oh yeah, definitely. My reach is a huge factor. And I'm starting to realize how long my legs are and how quick I am. Not only having long limbs but having quick long limbs. A lot of times Stephan would kick at me and I would just hop back and he'd completely miss. Because I really learned my distance. I sparred with a lot of six four guys and just had the whole body type mastered. And really had things mapped out.  How are you going to address the fatigue issue, so that it doesn't happen again? Jones: [My trainers] are going to kick it up a notch, not baby me in the fitness room, but push me to my absolute limit every day. That might be tough, because the sky's the limit. Jon, thanks for taking time to talk with me. Jones: Anytime, Garv.


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