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‘He Couldnt Sleep’- Jon Jones’ Anxiety Before a Particular UFC Fight Exposed by NFL Champion Brother After 13 Years

Published 01/21/2024, 3:13 PM EST

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Once upon a time, when the UFC had stiff competition from iconic MMA promotions such as Pride FC and Strikeforce, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was the face of the sport. The light heavyweight made waves in the MMA world with his devastating power and now-famous body slam against Ricardo Arona in. His popularity and stardom were the reason that ‘Rampage’ was able to fight and win the UFC light heavyweight title in only his second fight at the promotion against Chuck Liddell at UFC 71 back in 2007.

The 45-year-old went on to lose the title to Forrest Griffin a year later, but got the chance to reclaim the title against youngster Jon Jones, with whom he had one of the most famous fights in UFC history as Jones proceeded to do something that had never been done in the octagon. Jon’s brother, NFL defensive end Chandler, revealed his first hand experience of his brother’s anxiety before fighting Jackson.

Chandler Jones tells ‘Rampage’ Jon was terrified of him

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Chandler Jones joined ‘Rampage’ Jackson on the latter’s ‘Jaxxon Podcast’ to talk about his brother, his NFL career, and his future plans. During the course of the podcast, Chandler was reminded of something important about his brother and Jackson that the host should know.

Chandler revealed that before he faced ‘Rampage’ at UFC 135, Jon was so scared at the prospect of facing the former Pride Champion that he could not sleep. This, he claimed has never happened before or since for any of Jones’ fights.

“First of all, I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I want to let Rampage know that, I’m sitting here, I’m Jon’s little brother, so I know…Before y’all fight, he couldn’t sleep. And I don’t give a f**k who.. he fought, who would be a bigger name (than you), whatever. I’m talking to this day he could not sleep… I just want to let you know that,” he said.

Jon himself has admitted in previous interviews that he was petrified at the prospect of facing ‘Rampage’, famous for his devastating power and knock outs. In fact, so scared was the undisputed heavyweight champion that he didn’t even have the courage to stand up in front of the veteran in their fight.

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Jon Jones had nightmares of being knocked out by ‘Rampage’

Jon Jones, who used to idolize ‘Rampage’ has said that he used to have nightmares of being knocked out by Jackson, who remains the only fighter who has ever intimidated him. “I had a lot of nightmares leading up to that fight of things not going my way. And for some reason, he just … he intimidated me. He really did. I don’t know what it was” Jon Jones said.

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And the fear was evident right from the moment their fight began. Jon famously began the bout on his haunches, crawling up to Jackson at the beginning of their bout, a first in MMA history, and refusing to exchange until he caught a hold of the MMA superstar.

Watch this story: Jorge Masvidal And Chael Sonnen Go Back And Forth 

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob