Jon Jones, the bad boy of the UFC, is one of the greatest fighters to walk into the octagon. With an almost perfect record as a professional MMA fighter, a “1” that was added to his record more than a decade ago remains to be a controversial subject to this date.
Currently boasting a record of 26-1-0, Jon Jones was robbed of a speckless record. This went down when “Bones” was still a fresher out in the MMA world. He was a young and emerging talent from upstate New York. Jones entered the world of MMA to make some extra money and provide for his recently pregnant girlfriend.
Making his pro debut, he registered 4 victories within his first month; 3 of these came via knockouts. Jones has always been the dominant, extraordinary, and unique fighter that he is so widely known for today. But back then, he was just a lanky, tall boy with moves like no one had ever seen before. Moves that he supposedly learned off of watching YouTube videos!
3 straights wins were enough for Jones to nag a televised gig with the UFC. He made his debut with the promotion at UFC 87, where he took on and secured a unanimous decision victory over Andre Gusmao. This one bout was enough for the fans watching to take notice of the man that was soon to take over the UFC.
He secured wins at UFC 94 against Stephan Bonnar and then at UFC 100 against Jake O’Brien. He was on a run like no one had ever seen before. However, just when his flight was about to take off, in the way came one of the promotion’s most controversial referees, Steve Mazzagatti.
The fight was set for December 5, 2009. Jon Jones was booked opposite former “Ultimate Fighter” contestant Matt Hamill at the TUF 10 Finale in Las Vegas.
Scheduled for the co-main event that night, Jones and Hamill were going to precede the fight between Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub. The most prominent stat of that night was Jone’s 10-inch reach advantage.
Just minutes into the first round, the drama began to unfold. Drama that to this day has left an “unfair” mark on Jon Jones’ personal record as a fighter.
Jones thwarted one of Hamill’s attempts at a takedown and slammed him down onto the floor. Moving from side control to full control, he took charge and unloaded on Hamill.
Punches turned into elbows as Jones attempted to break through his opponent’s defense. Hamill suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose, and he was clearly out of it. He was eating punches like never before. Jones was constantly looking for the referee to intervene to call the fight.
With no response or attempts to stop the fight from the referee, Jones continued to hammer on. In an attempt to end this, Jones raised his arm straight up and rammed his elbow vertically down into Hamill, not once, not twice, but thrice! Fans could clearly hear Joe Rogan on the commentator’s mic as he said, “You can’t do 12-to-six. The up-down elbow from 12 o’clock to six o’clock is illegal.”
The referee pulled Jones to the center of the octagon to hint at the judges that a point should be deducted for his illegal blows. All this went on while Hamill laid almost senseless. He was unresponsive to the referee’s questions.
It was all over. Hamill was defeated and Jones’ undefeated streak was still alive. As he rejoiced in his victory, the joy on Jones’ face was incomparable. He celebrated with a spinning cartwheel while the fans roared with cheers.
Everything seemed right until UFC announcer Bruce Buffer got on the microphone to announce the actual result of this one-sided fight. The announcement stated that due to “due to intentional elbows” Jon Jones had been disqualified and Matt Hamill, who still laid on the matt in pieces, had secured the victory.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Jon Jones’ face had the exact same expression. He was as shocked as everyone watching the fight. How could he have possibly lost that fight? At the post-fight interview, he said, “God is still really good to me, and life is so great. Everything happens for a reason.”
To this date, there isn’t another match this man has lost. He won the light heavyweight title and has successfully defended it a record-breaking 14 times.
But this one loss is what keeps him from a perfect record that would almost never be matched if not for that one call on December 5, 2009.
Even the president of the promotion years after the event isn’t over what happened. White said, “(Jones) is a young kid and if he goes to 30 years old, he could be 35-0 and it makes me sick that he has that ‘one’ on his record. Jon Jones is undefeated. That ‘one’ that is on his record is because of a moronic referee who had no idea what he was doing.”
Jones has now vacated his light heavyweight crown and decided to make the jump to heavyweight with aspirations to repeat what he pulled off at his previous division. Will Jones continue on his “undefeated” near “perfect” run event in the heavyweight division? What is your opinion?
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