Welcome to Jon Jones‘ world.
The UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion kicked off 2011 with a fight against Ryan Bader. After coming out victorious in that fight, he turned right around and faced Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March, winning the UFC light heavyweight title.
In September, Jones returned and soundly thumped former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135.
When the promotion was without a main event for UFC 140 in Toronto in December, the powers that be made the call to Jones one more time, and now he faces Lyoto Machida for his fourth fight this calendar year, three of which were title fights.
It’s quite obvious with a fight schedule like that it doesn’t leave a ton of time for relaxation.
“It’s funny, this is actually the second time a vacation of his or some time off of his that he wanted got derailed or Dana (White) calling and asking for something to get done or whatever it may be,” Jones’ manager Malki Kawa joked when asked about Jones finally getting some much needed down time after UFC 140.
“Listen, it’s all good. He’s a guy that loves what he does. He’s a guy that takes pride in the sport and he’s willing to step up to the plate when he needs to.”
Jones has gained a reputation in 2011 for not only being one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, but an undying willingness to go out and give the fights fans want to see.
Much like UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who has gone up in weight on two occasions when the promotion asked him to, Jones’ number is on speed dial when the UFC needs their champion to come through.
At the end of the day according to Kawa, Jones is just a fighter who loves his job, and whether it’s Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, or whoever, they’re all going to have to fight at some point, so what better time than now?
“Jon Jones won’t dodge anyone for anything. He just won’t, he doesn’t have to. I think he proved that already,” Kawa said.
With Dec. 10 just around the corner, Jones is already heading back into training camp to get ready for Lyoto Machida. If he’s successful, Jones will have gone 4-0 in 2011 with three title fights.
There’s not much doubt at that point that Jones should be the unanimous choice for 2011 Fighter of the Year, but also the award for fighter most in need of a vacation.
“As soon as this fight’s done, I think he’s going to take a pretty good vacation,” said Kawa. “I’m trying to send him on a cruise. Hopefully send him on a nice cruise somewhere and let him enjoy himself.”
Win, lose or draw, Jon Jones has definitely earned some time off after a very, very busy 2011.