UFC 165 is this weekend, and the Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson main event is creating quite a bit of excitement as Jones is facing a legitimate Light Heavyweight contender for the first time since early 2012. Now much of this was beyond Jones' control, but the fact remains he is facing his toughest fight in over a year.
For our throwback this week, we will look at Jon Jones' first pro fight. Jones was a stand-out high school wrestler and won a New York state championship. Jones then went to attend JUCO in Iowa, and won a National Championship at that level. Jones would eventually leave college and his Criminal Justice studies to pursue an MMA career.
Originally training out of Team Bombsquad in New York, Jones' first fight was set for April of 2008 in Foxborough, Massachusetts as MMA was banned in New York. The promotion was Full Force Productions and Jones' opponent was Brad Bernard, a 0-1 local fighter. The card was full of northeastern fighters, including Tom Lawlor in his last fight before appearing on The Ultimate Fighter.
This fight would prove to be something of a microcosm of Jones' early career. Jones dominated fight with a blinding array of skillful technique and amazing physical abilities, and drew a large amount of undue criticism for briefly playing to the crowd after an amazing throw and then throwing a clearly legal kick that was then portrayed as illegal by the broadcast team.
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