Those of you who are Fight Magazine subscribers probably already have your copy of the December issue. The rest of you freeloaders will just have to go down to Borders and read it in the bathroom like the rest of the homeless people. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now that you’re back, you’ve probably noticed that in addition to a hilarious feature about athletes taunting each other in the cage, this issue also features a cover story on Jon Jones by yours truly. In order to write this bad boy, I flew to Montreal to meet Jones during his stay at the Tri-Star gym a couple of months out from his fight against Matt Hamill at this weekend’s TUF finale. The only problem was that once I got to Montreal, I found out that Jones was still at home in Ithaca, NY.
It turns out that when you get too many speeding tickets they suspend your license. And if you try to drive across the U.S.-Canada border with a suspended license, nothing good happens. So Jones stayed home and I didn’t find out until it was too late. This is how I ended up renting a car in Montreal and driving it to upstate New York to meet Jones. Just in case you’re curious, if you’re an American citizen with a Montana license, driving a rented car with Quebec plates into the U.S., there’s really no way to assure the border agents that you aren’t smugging drugs. They’re going to make you wait for the better part of an hour while they search your rented Toyota Yaris. There’s just no way around it.
When I finally tracked Jones down at the BombSquad gym in Cortland, New York, I made another startling discovery: it’s basically a barn. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice barn. It’s a barn with insulation and good mats and a decent stereo inside, but it’s still a barn in the middle of the country in back of someone’s house. This, to my surprise, is where one of MMA’s brightest young prospects was developed.
Now Jones has access to some of the best trainers in the sport. He works out with Firas Zahabi (when he can get across the border) and is a recent addition to Greg Jackson’s team in New Mexico, where he’s been training for the Hamill fight. But as you’ll discover when you read the story, this is a guy who seems to have limitless potential. He got a UFC contract after four months in the sport. He has world-renowned trainers telling him that he can not only be a champion, but clean out the entire 205-pound division. All this, and he’s only twenty-two years old.
For an intimate portrait of a fighter as a young man, go pick yourself up a copy. Even if you somehow don’t give a damn about "Bones," the issue is worth it just to read Clay Guida‘s reaction to what Nate Diaz shouted in his ear during their fight at UFC 94.