Top Five Jon Jones Fights

jon jones fails drug test

Former long-time light heavyweight champion, and pound-for-pound king Jon “Bones” Jones is undoubtedly one of the best fighters of all-time, if not the best period. However, his career has been slightly hindered by issues outside of the cage.

Just in the last year, Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites in January, and was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges last April in New Mexico. After being arrested, Jones was stripped of his title, pulled from his scheduled UFC 187 fight with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, and suspended indefinitely.

Potentially facing jail time, Jones has remained out of the media over the last few months, with his fighting future unclear. However, the former champion received great news last week when he walked out of a New Mexico court room with no jail time, but rather a probation sentence, and community service requirements.

He has now been reinstated by the UFC and all signs are pointing to a massive return for the pound-for-pound best sometime soon. That being said, let’s take a look back at the top five Jon Jones fights.

Jones vs Evans

Honorable Mention

Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans UFC 145

This fight falls as an honorable mention simply because the fight wasn’t necessarily spectacular, but the hype, the buildup, and the rivalry is something that cannot be forgotten.

As the story goes, Rashad Evans was the face of the Jackson-Winklejohn camp, especially when he was the boss at 205-pounds. Then came the meteoric rise of one Jon Jones, and Evans and Jones soon became close friends, and training partners until “Suga” felt as if he was replaced.

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Evans soon left the New Mexico based camp, and Jones became the champion, setting up a massive bout between two ex-training partners, and former friends. “Suga” repeatedly called Jones fake, and the two went back and forth for months.

When the cage doors closed, the fight ended up being a rather lackluster, but dominant decision for “Bones”, but the fight, and the lead up still remain a great point in Jones’ career.

Jones vs Machida

Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida UFC 140

Going up against a former champion and one of the best in the world in Lyoto Machida, the young champion in Jones had a tough test in front of him. Machida actually had a great deal of success in the first round, seemingly pressing forward, while landing a huge body kick, and a strong left hand that seemed to stumble Jones.

Many actually felt as if “The Dragon” was up on the score cards going into the second frame. Jones seemed to be tentative at the onset of the second round, as Machida continued to press forward. However, “Bones” soon landed a vicious right hand, followed by a perfectly-timed takedown. The champion would then land a huge elbow that busted “The Dragon” wide open.

Proving his championship worth, Jones locked in a nasty standing guillotine up against the fence that shut the lights off for Machida. Facing adversity, Jones persevered through in one of the best fights of his we’ve seen.

Jones vs. Belfort

4. Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort UFC 152

Heading into UFC 152, Jones had yet another tough test in front of him in the form of Brazilian legend, and former champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.

“Bones” was once again faced with adversity early on in this fight when Belfort sunk in a fairly tight arm bar attempt just over a minute into the fight. The submission was locked in with Joe Rogan even saying that Belfort was close to breaking Jones’ arm, but the champion was eventually able to power out, avoiding an early scare.

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Jones would then go on to bloody “The Phenom” up with elbows to close out the first frame. The second round saw “Bones” open up more on the feet, using his huge reach, and wide variety of kicks to neutralize Belfort before once again ending the round on top.

The third round saw more of the same, as Jones continued to pick Belfort apart on the feet with devastating kicks, while controlling the action on the ground as well. Just under a minute into the fourth round, Jones was able to put a stamp on a dominant performance by securing a fight ending kimura, and closing out an entertaining fight.

Jones vs Shogun

3. Jon Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua UFC 128

Going into UFC 128, Jon Jones had the opportunity placed in front of him to become the youngest champion in promotional history, but he had a tough test to get through in the form of legendary Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

“Bones” proved that he was deserving of a title shot, scoring a takedown early on, and controlling much of the action in the first. Once the action returned to the feet, Jones continued to score, unleashing a variety of attacks on “Shogun”.

Rua had no answer in the second either, as Jones continued to control every second of the fight on the feet, while landing some deadly ground and pound as well. Round three marked the end of “Shogun’s” reign, as Jones rocked the Brazilian with elbows on the ground, and landed a beautiful combination up against the fence to secure the title in one of his best performances to date.

ufc 182 fight motion chris weidman

2. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier UFC 182

There have been few bigger rivalries than the rivalry between Jon Jones, and former Olympian Daniel Cormier. It all started with the infamous media brawl in which the two actually engaged in a physical altercation after a stare down. We also can’t forget about the “hot-mic” incident when the two threatened each other when the cameras were thought to be off.

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The hype, and bad blood leading up this bout was second to none, and “DC” was one of the best fighters Jones has ever had to face.

The story of the fight was Cormier’s decorated wrestling background, and Jones’ massive reach advantage. Cormier was able to see some success in the early rounds engaging in the clinch, but it was actually “Bones” who was able to score multiple takedowns.

As the fight moved on, Jones fell into a groove, and established his reach, ultimately taking over in the championship rounds, and scoring a unanimous decision win. Although the fight may have not been as entertaining as some others, it was a solid contest, and along with the build-up, it’s become one of Jones’ best.

Jones vs. Gustafsson

1. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson UFC 165

This fight was a no brainer for number one, as it’s not just the best fight that Jon Jones has been involved in, but one of the best light heavyweight title fights of all-time, and one of the best fights of all-time period.

Going into UFC 165, Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson was being billed as a massive underdog, but he was one of the few fighters able to match Jones in size and reach. He ended up proving much more than his size and reach, however, as the two men put on an instant classic.

Gustafsson used slick boxing to pick apart “Bones” over the first few rounds, and actually stuffed all but one of his opponent’s takedowns. However, it was Jones who took over in the championship rounds, and ultimately walked away with his belt after a bloody five-round war.

It was definitely one for the history books.