Ace MMA Fighting reporter Mike Chiappetta has the biggest business scoop in the sport this week – UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has signed a global deal with sportswear giant Nike. “The two sides have agreed to a multi-year contract that will see Jones decked out in Nike gear for the foreseeable future. On Sept. 1, when he faces Dan Henderson at UFC 151, Jones will be rocking the famous ‘Swoosh,’” Chiappetta reports.
“As a part of the deal, Jones will be featured on worldwide Nike advertising and receive his own signature line, sources said. It is expected to be announced within a week.”
As a matter of fact, just over an hour ago Jones himself tweeted “@JonnyBones Blessed to be signed by the biggest sports apparel company in the world #NIKE Dreams do come true,” confirming Chiappetta’s report
This is big, taters. We’ve seen MMA fighters sign regional deals with Nike and Reebok before but Jones is the first mixed martial artist to receive the same type of deal that people like Michael Jordan, Lebron James and David Beckham have received in the past.
Good to see that Bones’ recent legal troubles haven’t stopped him from getting this opportunity. But then again, very public infidelity and rape accusations couldn’t separate Kobe Bryant from his, at the time, new Nike deal years ago, so we guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. His driving while intoxicated arrest aside, Jones has spent his short but incredible career as an ideal spokesman for the sport and for would-be major brands.
Jones is the youngest champion in UFC history, is in the midst of one of the most dominant and exciting runs we’ve ever seen, is good looking and charming on the talk-show circuit, and provides for his family. It’s about time someone like Nike recognizes the potential in an MMA athlete like Jones.
We guess the UFC won’t have to make their preference for him over his opponents so blatantly obvious by sponsoring him for his fights any longer…
What do you think, nation – Will Jones be the first of many elite MMA fighters to be signed to Nike or is he a test one-off? If they sign more, who do you want to see next?