Jon Jones Speaks on Embracing His Role as a Coach on The Ultimate Fighter
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 12.26.2012
Jones wants to leave his mark on the sport...
MMAjunkie spoke with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones regarding serving as a coach for this season of The Ultimate Fighter season 17. Here are some highlights:
Jon Jones on embracing the role as a coach: "I embrace the role. I definitely have become a leader in my own team at Jackson's MMA. It's something that has been slowly coming upon me, and I feel it. So you embrace it. You embrace the idea of being the light to people and really trying to impact someone's life in a positive way."
Jones on why he believes wisdom outweighs age: "I'm definitely excited to show America that age is just a number, and wisdom outweighs age any day. I guess the biggest thing that I did was demand respect through legitimacy between everything I said to the guys and what I expected out of the guys to the vibe I gave off to these guys. I was definitely there to be those guys' mentor, friend and supporter. Obviously it's about those guys and not me, but I want to be a role model, too, despite the age difference. I want to lead by example and show these guys what has made me me and give them a piece of that."
What Jones plans to show with his coaching on the show: "I need to show America that I'm a champion. I'm a champion coach. I'm a guy who is not going to be stingy with his success. I'm going to try and motivate others with his success and share his success and ultimately bring up the whole sport of mixed martial arts, whether it's an individual athlete or an ideal or anything. My job is to pay it forward. I look at this way, and it's very simple: Somebody put me on to this world of mixed martial arts, and I owe a great deal to that person. the only way I can truly ever say thank you in my eyes is to put someone else on it. So when I'm in the locker room, I look at all of my guys as, 'Which one of you guys is going to be the next guy? Which one of you guys can I bless by giving you my best?' That's the way I feel about the whole situation. I want to put someone else up. I want to change someone else's life. I want to give back to the sport and be a contributor to one of the next great fighters."
Jon Jones on the mental aspect of coaching: "I think this whole championship is a matter of coaching them mentally. These guys should already be in shape before they got here. I want to see which guys want to consider themselves a leader and which guy is going to take that inferior role. The whole journey is mental. … The whole experience, I consider the tournament to be something like a boot camp, an initiation. So it's more about pushing them to the limit mentally to see if they're really ready to be a champion."
Jones on his goals for 2013: "I just really want it all. I want to be the best coach in 'TUF.' I want to completely conquer and leave my mark on this sport. So when people ask me some of my goals, I can go on and on. I just really want to accomplish everything...I don't think it's tough to keep the fire. It's very simple. When the time comes down, when push comes to shove, it's right back down to the simplicity of 'Do you want it, or don't you?' When you keep things that simple, you take the necessary steps when it's that time. I don't think I'll ever have an issue with passion because of my pride."