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Jones needs more than Greg Hardy to be intimidated



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Heavyweight fighter Ray Jones assures any who are concerned that it's going to take something much bigger than the name Greg Hardy to intimidate him. While you’re at it, throw Hardy’s first team All-SEC award, Pro Bowl appearance and his 2-0 MMA record in there too. Jones, who faces Hardy Saturday September 29 on UFC FIGHT PASS, gives little regard to the former NFL player's pedigree.

“Pressure is a little different to me,” Jones said. “I was 24 when I was in the Army as a medic. I’m trained for that kind of pressure. I’m built for that. Even outside of the Army, I carry that.”

When Jones’ manager called and let him know about the opportunity, he jumped at the chance.

While some upward fighters would slow down and enjoy the sudden growth in popularity, Jones can be found in the gym up to four times a day, determined to continue what has set him apart from four of the five fighters he has faced thus far.

“I just have a mentality of grinding and moving forward,” Jones said. “In longer fight I tend to do a lot better. Big guys are usually used to fights ending quickly. I outpace all of them.”

During training, Jones smiles remembering he’s the underdog. With a habit of always fighting like a title is on the line, he’s happy to be in a position to shock the world.

“I’m always underestimated, but I love it. It makes everything easy. It’s the perfect chance to come in and ruin somebody’s night.”

While Jones was training his way through countless underestimations, Greg Hardy was quickly becoming a household name with his accomplishments on the football field.

To Jones, even mentioning those accolades is a waste of time.

“On the football field it’s a whole team out there. In the cage it’s just you. Nobody else is there to help you. None of that matters.”

The athleticism Hardy grew up with may have played a large part in Hardy’s successful to the cage, but Jones sees a large hole in Hardy’s game.

“I think he seems pretty one dimensional,” Jones said.

With either success or controversy following Hardy for years, Jones is fighting on Saturday to prove that all the fame and hype in the world doesn’t replace the training and dedication he has put into fighting.

“I respect him as a man but outside of that there’s nothing,” Jones said. "He’s just another face.”