Behind The Scenes

UFC’s “Bones” Jones reflects on ESPN, title bout and his NFL brothers

At UFC 152 Saturday in Toronto, Jon “Bones” Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.

It’s the main event on the MMA card but just one highlight for the highly accomplished Jones family this weekend: Jon’s brothers Arthur and Chandler are playing against each other Sunday night when the Baltimore Ravens host the New England Patriots. 

Even with this epic weekend before him, he visited ESPN’s Bristol campus Tuesday and took part in the “Car Wash.”

Front Row asked Jones his thoughts about ESPN, whether he intends to repay SportsNation for an Ipad he destroyed in 2011 and who would win in a showdown between the Jones Brothers and another notable NFL fraternity, the Gronkowskis. 

What brings you to ESPN’s Bristol campus this time?
I’m spreading the word about mixed martial arts and I’m trying to get MMA out there on a more global level. Obviously, you guys are the favorite place to promote fights.

Who’s going to get more SportsCenter face time this weekend — you for your fight, or your brothers because they’re playing each other on Sunday night?
I would imagine me, only because I play in an individual sport. [Shows] like SportsCenter aren’t likely to focus on an individual player [in a team sport] unless [they have] an unheard of game. 

It’s going to be the first time witnessing them playing on opposing teams. It’s going to be extremely exciting for me. Not many people can say that they’ve watched one of their brothers play in an NFL level game, let alone watched two brothers play, and against each other. 

What are your favorite aspects of the Car Wash?
Really just getting to meet so many amazing individuals. You guys have very personable hosts of each show. A lot of celebrities, phenomenal athletes. The ones that you do have are usually the great ones. Bumping into (ESPN analysts) Brian Dawkins and Jerry Rice in the same day, not many people can say they’ve done that.

Have you been asked to replace the iPad you broke last year on SportsNation?
I haven’t, and I won’t. You guys insisted that I kicked that thing, and I did it.

Have you broken something like that since?
I haven’t broken anything like that since, but I thought it was awesome and a pretty innovative way to do an interview. I thought it was a great idea, and it’s obviously got over 75,000 views [on YouTube], so I thought it was a great success.

You have two brothers in the NFL, and the Gronkowskis have had as many as three. Your brother Chandler and Rob Gronkowski are Patriots teammates. If you were included in a brawl — the Jones brothers versus the Gronkowski brothers — who would win and why?
I would say the Jones brothers would win, obviously because combat is all I do. Arthur is a two-time state high school wrestler, and Chandler because he has Jones in his blood. That’s reason enough.

Have you met the Gronkowskis?
I haven’t, but I’d be honored to. Maybe we’d do some type of promotional video with those guys. The Jones Brothers would definitely be up for it.

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