Today marks a momentous day in the career of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones as the 27-year-old officially becomes the longest-reigning title holder in his division’s history, with a grand total of 1,261 days at the top.
He now stands above former record holder Tito Ortiz, who held the LHW belt for 1,260 days before losing it to Randy Couture at UFC 44 in September 2003.
Jones defeated Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua via TKO to capture the belt at UFC 128 in 2011, and has since defended the gold a record seven times – most recently against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172.
As the youngest fighter to ever win a UFC championship belt (23 years old), Jon has exhibited exceptional will and championship spirit to maintain his position at the top of his weight class against probably the toughest run of opponents ever faced by any MMA champion.
In an exclusive interview with Fighters Only magazine, Jones explains what it is that he believes sets him apart from the other athletes in the division. “It’s my competitive nature, my pride and my desire to set records – that’s what brings out the beast in me. That’s what brings out this whole new mentality in me. It’s a ‘cannot lose’ mentality.”
The reigning champ was most recently expected to put his belt on the line against long-time nemesis Daniel Cormier, after his original opponent Alexander Gustafsson pulled out due to injury, at UFC 178. However, an injury suffered by Jones in training has put the bout on hold until January next year at UFC 182.
Jon Jones is currently 20-1 in pro MMA, with his lone defeat coming via disqualification at the TUF 10 Finale against Matt Hamill after Jones landed illegal 12-6 elbows which left his opponent unable to continue. He holds notable wins over Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson among others.