ESPN’s Josh Gross caught up with UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones recently and the 24-year-old fighter proved that he is respecting his role as a champion. According to “Bones” he may come back to compete earlier than he anticipated and says that he may possibly defend his belt three or four times if all goes well this year.
“My goal is to finish every fight in 2012. If I do that, a lot of other things will fall into place naturally. I want to finish every opponent,” Jones told Gross.”I’ve been thinking recently about trying to compete four times in the year again. I grew so much as a person that by doing that again in 2012 will just make me a better athlete. Originally I said I wanted to take off four or five months, but I may reconsider and come back sooner and have three or four fights this year.”
Besides the bragging rights and personal satisfaction, a motivating factor for Jones to fight more is the Benjamins. He made $140,000 for his UFC 128 title win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (no commission he’s fought for since reported what he made) and he picked up “Fight of the Night” bonuses in his two subsequent title defenses. Add to that the mainstream sponsorship deals he struck with Form Athletics and Everlast and endorsements he’s done with Bud Light and K-Swiss and Jones likely doesn’t have to worry about having his power shut off or making his car payments.
Zuffa’s other champs need to take note and pick up their games. Defending their belts less than twice a year is killing us.