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Ex-UFC champ: Jones the ‘dirtiest fighter ever’

Jon Jones when he fought Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 135.
Jon Jones when he fought Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 135. | Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Jon Jones received an epic backhanded compliment recently.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has, hands down, one of the most impressive in-cage resumes of any fighter on the planet. However, over the years, his issues outside the sport (some of which have bled over into the cage) have tarnished many of his achievements.

Recently, one of Jones’ former opponents heaped praise on Jones’ talent as a fighter. However, that praise came with quite the caveat.

Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, a former UFC light heavyweight champion himself, recently spoke with Chris Van Vliet all about ‘Bones’.

“Jon Jones is a great fighter. Even if he was standing in this room I would say it. But he’s the dirtiest fighter ever,” Jackson said (ht MMA Junkie). “The guy is so smart. He does the most dirtiest things.”

“If you’re doing anything good on him, he’s going to poke you in the eye,” alleged Jackson. “If you’re advancing or doing anything good or you get the advantage, he’s going to kick your knee backwards.”

“For one, I think that knee kick – they call it like an oblique kick – he’s kicking you right on your kneecap,” Jackson added. “I think that should be banned. … My knee is still messed up from that fight because it hyperextended – he kicked it all the way back. You can end people’s careers with those moves.

“Jon Jones, he’s good. He doesn’t even have to do that. Think about all of those spinning elbows he used to do in the beginning. Where did they land? Do you remember? In the back of people’s heads. It’s illegal. Jon Jones is like the dirtiest fighter.”

Despite his opinion on the cleanliness of Jones’ fighting style, Jackson said he didn’t have anything personal against him.

“I’m cool with Jon Jones,” he explained. “When I see Jon Jones, we’re cool. … I always had honor when I fought. I wanted to be the best fighter on the day. I wanted to win the fight clean. But I know that every fighter is not like me.”

Jackson and Jones tangled back in 2011 at UFC 135. Jackson was challenging Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title, having won back-to-back decisions over Lyoto Machida and Matt Hammil. The fight with Jones ended fourth round submission loss.

Jackson would lose his next two UFC fights after that before securing his release from the UFC in 2013. He then went 6-3 in Bellator before calling it a career.

Jones last fought in February 2020, where he defended his title against Dominick Reyes. Since then Jones has been on the sidelines preparing for his transition to the heavyweight division. During this time he was also charged with domestic violence over an incident at a Las Vegas hotel, though those charges were later dropped through a plea deal.

Jones is scheduled to return to the Octagon on March 4 in the main event of UFC 285. There he is expected to fight Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title.

About the author: Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. (full bio)


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