3 Sep 2009 10:40:50 AM
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Marcus Jones Talks TUF 10 and Why It’s a Good Thing He Took Up MMA After the NFL
Marcus Jones is one of four ex-NFL players to join season ten of “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV. A first-round draft pick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones had the most prolific pro football career among all the ex-ballers vying a for a spot on the UFC’s heavyweight roster, but he didn’t pick up MMA until after his playing days were over. Now he’s 36 years old and is 4-1 as a pro, trying to prove to himself and others that he has what it takes to hang with UFC fighters.
Of all the former NFL players I spoke to for an SI.com feature that will run later today, Jones had the most unusual story about how he first got started in MMA, but he also admitted that it was probably a good thing that it took him so long to get into MMA, even if it put him behind some of his peers in the TUF house.
You were a defensive end with Tampa Bay after playing at the University of North Carolina. Tell me a little about your path through football and how you got into MMA.
Well, I played football from Pop Warner through high school and then into college. After college I got drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I played there my whole career. I played in the league six years, but they gave me credit for seven because I was on the squad for my last year.
And how did you first start training in MMA?
I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to laugh.
I can’t promise that.