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Part-Time Job Jones was a college wrestler and criminal justice student at Iowa Central when his girlfriend Jessie’s surprise pregnancy left him in need of quick cash. He visited an MMA gym and took his first fight within months – then five more in the next 3 months, winning them all. Jones and that girlfriend are now engaged with three daughters.
Quick Rise Jones entered the UFC in August 2008 on a few weeks’ notice, won, and was rewarded with bouts against future Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar and a UFC 100 spot against Jake O’Brien. Near effortless wins over veterans Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko followed before he dominated previously-unbeaten Ryan Bader at UFC 126. Jones’ only loss came at when a poor referee call resulted in a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, in a fight he was by all accounts winning soundly.
Title Shot After his UFC 126 win, while still inside the Octagon, Jones was offered the chance to step in for injured teammate Rashad Evans to face light heavyweight champ “Shogun” Rua on six weeks’ notice. Jones accepted and went on to dominate Rua as well as his subsequent opponents: “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort.
King Among Kings