It is somewhat controversial but generally hard to deny that Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters ever. However his old foe Rampage Jackson thinks that he holds a different kind of accolade than that.
Jones and Rampage fought back in 2011, in what was the first defense of Jon’s light heavyweight title. Jon would end this fight in the fourth round, catching Jackson in a rear naked choke to end the night.
Speaking in a recent interview, Jackson explained that there were two things that he was not prepared for, that Jon had to offer. The biggest of these factors, was the fact that he feels like Jon is a cheater who eye pokes too much, which was something that Jackson even tried to train for.
“He’s the dirtiest fighter too. Honestly. They had to change the rules because of him. When I fought him, whenever I had any type of advantage, he’d put his fingers in my eye,” Rampage said.
“It’s hard to train for this too. He poked me in the eye, and when you come in and advance, he’d kick your knee backwards. They should make it illegal… Any time I got any kind of advantage, the hand was out. He poked me in the eye once or twice in the fight, but in my training camp during my last sparring, I already had one of them red blood vessels because somebody poked me in the eye in training camp because we were trying to train for that s—t. You can’t train for it. So I was already f—ked up.”
Rampage Jackson Praises Jon Jones’s Mentality
The other thing that Rampage Jackson was unprepared for when fighting Jon Jones, was the never back down mentality that the champ brought to the Octagon. However that was something he ended up admiring a bit.
Jackson said that he had no idea how tough Jon was from a mental standpoint, which led to him actually overlooking Jon a bit when they fought. However in hindsight he can appreciate that strength from his former foe.
“I’m going to tell you something about Jon Jones, and what I noticed about him, and I noticed it too late after I fought him. It’s his mind. His mind is really strong,” Rampage said.
“When I fought Jon Jones, I honestly underestimated him because I was in really great shape and I didn’t have any injuries… I’ve never lost a fight in that good of shape. I was in Colorado training and I was training there for a couple of months. My cardio was mint. I was in probably one of the best shapes I’d ever been, and I was like there’s no way I’m going to lose to this kid. But his mind is so strong.”
Jon Jones At Heavyweight
A little over a year ago, Jon Jones vacated his title in an attempt to bulk up for a move to heavyweight. As someone who has dabbled both at 205lb and heavyweight, Rampage Jackson says this might not be a good idea.
He says Jon’s wrestling is good enough to take down and even beat someone like the champ, Francis Ngannou. However he believes that the moment Jon gets hit by a big boy at heavyweight, it will put his lights out.
“I think Jon Jones is one of the best fighters in the world. I think he will do good against the smaller heavyweights. I think he’ll take Francis down and do good, but I think if he gets hit once, he’ll probably get knocked out of that weight class,” Rampage said.
Time will tell if what Rampage Jackson says comes true, whenever Jon Jones finally makes that heavyweight debut. It seems likely that fans will just be pumped to see it, no matter the outcome.