Who is Jon Jones? Net worth, career highlights and facts about the youngest UFC champion in history

Abhinav Kini
International Business Times
Biggest names in UFC
Biggest names in UFC

One of the best pound for pound fighters, Jon Jones, is without a doubt the most talented competitor in the world today. However, despite being labelled by UFC president Dana White as "the greatest talent ever", Jones' career is not without controversy and it could hinder his legacy in the long run.

Key facts about Jon Jones

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Who is Jon Jones?

Jones was born in Rochester, New York where while growing up, he was a high school wrestler and state champion at Union-Endicott High School.

Deciding to quit college to pursue a career in MMA, Jones fought at various promotions across the east coast, winning his first six fights on the trot.

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It was only a matter of time until "Bones" would grab the attention of the UFC as he made his debut with the biggest promotion in the world in August 2008 as a 21-year-old.

It took Jones just two and a half years from his debut to win championship gold as he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua to become the youngest UFC champion in history at 23 years and 242 days. Successfully defending his title eight times in a row – a record in the light heavyweight division – it was Jones' actions outside the octagon that saw him get stripped off his title and taint his legacy.

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Following a hit-and-run incident in 2015 that injured a pregnant woman in another vehicle, Jones purposely left the scene with marijuana found in his rental car. He was later stripped off his title by the UFC and indefinitely suspended for violation of the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy.

He made a return in 2016 and Jones was set to face longtime rival Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 for the light heavyweight title, however, was pulled from the card after testing positive for two banned substances – clomiphene and letrozole. As a result, Jones was suspended yet again.

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

Jon Jones' career highlights

  • April 2008: Jones wins his first professional MMA fight, defeating Brad Bernard via TKO in the first round.

  • August 2008: Jones makes his UFC debut nearly four months after his professional debut as a 21-year-old, defeating André Gusmão via unanimous decision.

  • March 2011: Jones wins the light heavyweight championship defeating Mauricio Rua via TKO to become the youngest UFC champion in history.

  • September 2012: Jones defeats Vitor Belfort via submission to increase the light heavyweight division record of most wins by submission to six.

  • September 2013: Jones defeats Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision in what was the UFC's "Fight of the Year" for 2013.

  • January 2015: Jones defeats rival Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision to become the only light heavyweight fighter to have won 10 title bouts.

  • April 2016: Jones defeats Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision to win the interim light heavyweight title.

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

What is Jones' net worth?

According to CelebrityNetWorth, Jones has a net worth of $10m (£8m), having earned a flat rate of $500,000 in his last two UFC fights (pay-per-view points withstanding).

When is Jones returning?

Jones' current suspension ends in July 2017 and he could fight on the UFC 213 card, which takes place during International Fight Week on 8 July.

Who defeated Jones?

While he has a 22-1 record in MMA, his only loss came against Matt Hamill in December 2009 as Jones was disqualified for illegal elbows struck on his opponent. UFC president White later stated that the fight should have been called a no contest rather than Jones being disqualified.

Why does Jones crawl at the start of a fight?

At the start of each fight, Jones crawls towards his opponents before engaging them, but the fighter says there is no real reason for it.

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

"Oh, that crawl," Jones said, as quoted on Deadspin. "It just felt so right, you know? The first time I crawled into the octagon I just felt like an animal, you know? Like a creature, like I wasn't quite human."

What did Jones get caught with before UFC 200?

Jones tested positive for two banned substances, clomiphene (an anti-estrogenic agent) and letrozole (an aromatase inhibitor).

Why did Jones go to jail?

Jones went to a county jail in March 2016 after being pulled over and ticketed for drag racing in Albuquerque, New Mexico while on probation for his hit-and-run incident in 2015.

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