Jon Jones Through the years

Jonathan Dwight Jones was born in Rochester, New York. He was born on July 19, 1987. His father Arthur served as a pastor at the Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ in Binghamton, New York. Jon’s father did not want him to become a combat sports competitor. His mother Camille lost her battle with diabetes and passed away in 2017 at the age of 55.

Jon Jones with his mother and father

Jon was one of four kids. His younger brother Chandler plays outside linebacker with the Las Vegas Raiders. His elder brother Arthur is a former defensive lineman in American football who played for the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, and Washington Redskins. His elder sister Carmen passed away from a brain tumour before she reached the age of 18.

Jon Jones and his brothers

Chandler, Jon, and Arthur striking a pose with a UFC Championship won his Jon in 2020

Jones was a standout wrestler in high school and the state champion at Union-Endicott High School in Endicott, New York. He also participated in football as a defensive lineman. He dropped out of school to start his MMA career after moving to Morrisville State College to study Criminal Justice.

In April 2008, Jones made his MMA professional debut. Over the course of three months he finished every one of his opponents, compiling a perfect 6-0 record. At BCX 5 for the USKBA Light Heavyweight Championship, Jones beat Moyses Gabin in his last match before joining the UFC.

In August 2008, Jones faced Andre Gusmo in his UFC debut. As a last-minute substitute for Tomasz Drwal, Jones had agreed to the contract with two weeks’ notice. Jones used takedowns and unconventional hitting such as spinning elbows and a spinning back kick, to win by unanimous decision.

Jon Jones in his debut match against Andre Gusmo

At TUF: Heavyweights Finale in December 2009, Jones squared off against fellow light heavyweight contender Matt Hamill. Jones took control of Hamill by using his wrestling skills and dislocated Hamill’s shoulder with a takedown.

Jones was disqualified for using illegal 12-6 elbows. Jones was originally only docked one point from the round because downward elbow strikes were against the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. However, Hamill’s injured shoulder prevented him from continuing.

Jon Jones vs Matt Hamill face off
Jon Jones vs Matt Hamill

As a result, the replay simulation was examined. It revealed that Jones’ elbows worsened Hamill’s already lacerated and bloodied nose. According to UFC president Dana White, the match should have been a no contest but instead referee Steve Mazagatti declared it a loss for Jones. In 2019, White said he was still working to have the Nevada State Athletic Commission change the verdict to a no contest.

White announced that Jones will compete against Ryan Bader in February 2011 at UFC 126. After dominating Bader in the first round, Jones gave him his first professional setback by defeating him through submission (guillotine choke) in the second round. Jones ended up winning the ‘Submission of the Night’ bonus.

Jon Jones defeats Ryan Bader

After the contest with Bader, it became known that title challenger and Jones’ training partner Rashad Evans had hurt his knee during a workout. He would not be able to take part in his planned match with UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua. Jones ended up taking Evans’ spot in the contest for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Jones with UFC president Dana White

Jones became the youngest UFC champion ever at UFC 128, when he beat Rua by TKO in of Round 3. Shogun was dominated throughout the three rounds after an early flying knee that seriously injured him. The champion was knocked by a body blow and a knee to the head, which prompted the referee to intervene and stop the match.

Jon Jones vs Shogun Rua

Jones was supposed to face former colleague and friend Rashad Evans in August 2011 at UFC 133. However, he was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury. Jones’s injury was initially anticipated to keep him out of action until late 2011.

But in September 2011 at UFC 135, he faced Quinton Jackson and successfully defended his belt. Jackson was submitted by Jones with a rear naked choke in the fourth round. He successfully submitted Jackson, becoming the first UFC competitor to do it.

Jon Jones vs Rampage Jackson face off

At UFC 145, Jones finally competed against Rashad Evans. He ended up winning the match by unanimous decision.

Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans face off
Jones vs Evans at UFC 145
Jon Jones celebrates defeating Rashad Evans in their light heavyweight title bout for UFC 145

On Season 17 of the TUF reality series, Jones was selected to mentor alongside Chael Sonnen. A match between the two was scheduled for UFC 159 in April 2013. Jones intentionally downplayed the match and showed a lack of interest in it, making it plain that he did not think Sonnen was a worthy opponent.

Sonnen tried his best to promote the match in an interview, but Jones gave him the silent treatment and avoided eye contact. During their match, Jones easily defeated Sonnen via TKO in the first round.

Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen

In September 2013, Jones squared off against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. Jones was severely cut above the eye in the first round, but he won by unanimous decision in the back-and-forth contest. Jones said that Gustafsson gave him the most difficult battle of his professional career, and both of them were sent to the hospital with injuries. Both competitors received the Fight of the Night bonus for the match.

A rematch between Jones and Gustafsson was announced to take place at UFC 178 in September 2014. Gustafsson was forced to leave the game because of a ruptured meniscus. Jones was then anticipated to face Daniel Cormier as a fill-in opponent at UFC 178.

In August 2014, it was revealed that Jones had withdrawn due to a leg injury he had received while training. The match was finally rescheduled, and it took place at UFC 182 in January 2015. Jones ended up winning the match, and made history by becoming the first person to submit Cormier. Later it was discovered that Jones had tested positive for co**ine one month earlier as he failed a d**g test.

In May 2015 at UFC 187, Jones was scheduled to face Anthony Johnson in a championship defence. Jones was stripped of the title and was suspended from the UFC on April 28. This happened a result of a hit-and-run incident in which he struck a pregnant lady and then ran away on foot.

A rematch between Jones and Cormier was slated to take place at UFC 200 in July 2016. However, Jones was dropped from the match by USADA after a possible d**g violation on June 16. Jones was also given a one-year ban on December 15 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

In July 2017 at UFC 214, Jon Jones competed against Daniel Cormier in a rematch at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. By way of a third-round knockout, Jones won the match and reclaimed the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones received a Performance of the Night bonus after the match.

Jon Jones celebrates his win over Daniel Cormier

It was revealed on August 22 that Jones had been flagged for a possible d**ing violation. The California State Athletic Commission subsequently declared the bout to be a no contest. UFC president Dana White then decided to take away his light heavyweight title and give it to Daniel Cormier.

Jones said that he has resigned from the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship after an argument with UFC President Dana White in May 2020 about his pay. Jones was eyeing a match with heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. Jones said on social media that he would be giving up the light heavyweight title and that he intended to move up to heavyweight.

In March 2023 at UFC 285, Jones squared off against Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC Heavyweight belt after more than three years had passed since his last bout. He submitted Gane in the first round using a guillotine choke to win the match and the belt.

Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane

While Jon Jones was gone from the octagon for three years, he faced many difficulties particularly with his fiance Jessie Moses. Jones was arrested in September 2021 on charges of criminal assault and domestic abuse. According to a police report, a hotel security officer called the police when Jones’ youngest daughter asked for assistance. She said that her father and his fiancĂ©e Jessie Moses had gotten into an altercation.

Jones was stopped by police as he tried to depart the area shortly after they arrived. Jones was taken into custody by the police, who then started an investigation. Jessie was found in the room with a lump on her lip, blood on her face and clothes, and other signs of having been hit.

Jon Jones with his partner Jessie Moses

But it seems that all is fine now between the couple. After defeating Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 and earning the belt, they were spotted smiling and celebrating together. In an interview with Joe Rogan, Jones revealed that he has four children, aged 9, 8, 6, and 3.

Jon Jones with his family

Jones became the first mixed martial artist to be sponsored by Nike internationally. He is also the first MMA competitor to have his own shoe line.

Jones made the announcement that he secured a sponsorship agreement with Reebok on December 16 2014. However, Reebok ended its sponsorship in April 2015 as a result of Jones’s participation in a hit-and-run incident.

Additionally, Jon Jones and popular UFC competitor Colby Covington are former students at Iowa Central Community College. The two were roommates and allegedly had a relationship that went beyond just being in college. Covington has accused Jones of using st**oids as he recounted his bad interactions with Jones.

Colby Covington was roomates with Jon Jones

On the other hand, Jones has often said that he never resided with Covington. But Covington has been outspoken about his interactions with Jones.