Can you even imagine being the poor, unsuspecting 0-2 light heavyweight who showed up at a small-time independent MMA show in Foxborough, Mass., back in April of 2008 to fight an unheralded rookie named Jon Jones? Well – good news — now you don’t have to imagine. Thanks to a vid dredged up by the homies at Middle Easy, we have the moving pictures right there at top. I mean, my God, it’s highly possible this poor sap Brad Bernard (who fights out of something called “The Bucket Brigade” and is identified by the announcers here early on as a *shudder* “barroom brawler” ) actually thought he was going to win this fight against a green 21-year-old nobody had ever heard of before. Spoiler alert: Bernard does not win this fight.
Some background on the vid itself: It originates from 8 Count News’ Peter Czymbor, who confesses to being the play-by-play announcer on the event broadcast. He apparently just recently saved this fight from obscurity by pulling it off the original DVD and posting it to the interwebs for all to see. That was mighty nice of him, if we do say so ourselves. We should also point out that Czymbor is apparently not the announcer on this video who pours a whole cooler full of Haterade on Jones for being “kind of a sore-sport” after some “cocky behavior” during the fight and for an “illegal” kick which later turned out to be totally legal. That would be somebody named Mark Chaupetta and in his defense, the broadcasters didn’t have the luxury of live instant replay during the event, which makes his gripes over Jones’ kick a bit more excusable.
After the jump, some words from Czymbor about this fight …
“I’d be fibbing if I told you I was totally aware of who Jon Jones was going into that event or how special he was,” Czymbor writes. “At the time, he was just another guy on the bout sheet fighting early in the evening against a winless (0-2 at the time) Nashua, New Hampshire heavyweight named Brad Bernard. However, we’d all be buzzing about this athletic freak from Endicott, New York when the night was over. ‘Did you see the guy who flipped that dude over?’ was a common question being asked cageside at the night’s end.
During my play-by-play call of the fight of the signature moment of the fight, I screamed into the microphone, ‘Jones with a Suplex!’ before (slightly) more calmly saying, ‘He flipped him over.’ It was the one and only fight promoter Mike True was interested in watching when I delivered the final DVD to his home weeks later and as we both watched, we knew we were seeing a prospect worth keeping an eye on.”
Yeah, that’s sort of an understatement. As Czymbor notes, after quickly dispatching Bernard, Jones went on to fight the next two consecutive weeks and a little less than four months later made his Octagon debut against Andre Gusmao at UFC 87. As for Bernard? Well, he doesn’t have any more fights listed in the Sherdog Fight Finder after Jones. Maybe he figured with luck this bad, he shouldn’t be tempting fate by continuing to step into the cage.