Jon was almost not the only Jones brother fighting in the UFC.
Arthur Jones, the older brother of the light heavyweight champion, nearly stepped into the Octagon. MMA was a career move he was considering when the NFL was in a lockout in 2011, he told USA Today over the weekend. Arthur recently signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts after spending four years with the Baltimore Ravens.
"I love MMA,” Arthur said. “It’s fun to watch, and it’s something I entertained early in my football career if football didn’t work out, of me fighting in the UFC. But things are going well for me right now, so I’m going to stick with my career. I was supposed to take a fight when we had the lockout a few years ago. I was getting ready to schedule it and I was training for it."
Jon Jones has said in the past that the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Arthur, who plays defensive end, would be the heavyweight champion if he were fighting in the UFC. Arthur has talked some trash about his little brother, saying he whoops his butt on a regular basis. He does some training at Jackson/Winkeljohn with Jon in the offseason.
I was supposed to take a fight when we had the lockout a few years ago. I was getting ready to schedule it and I was training for it.
“I love it," Arthur said. "It keeps my mind fresh. It just keeps me hungry when it’s football season because I’m training parts and muscles and different things, and it keeps me active in different ways so I don’t get bored doing the same thing with football.”
Jon defeated Glover Teixeira to retain his light heavyweight title Saturday night at UFC 172 in Baltimore. Arthur and youngest brother Chandler, who plays for the New England Patriots, were both in attendance. Arthur told the Indianapolis Star that it is difficult to watch Jon get into the Octagon, way tougher than himself stepping onto the football field.
"My heart is racing," Arthur said. "I usually have a tear running down my eye when Jon walks out. My brother is my best friend. It’s just a crazy adrenaline rush, but I love the sport."
The family’s success has not dawned on him yet. But the Joneses are rapidly becoming one of the most successful group of siblings in professional sports, right there with the Manning brothers.
"I think it’s one of those things that when we’re done with the sport that God has blessed us with, we can sit back and say, ‘Man, I was great in this sport,’ or ‘I accomplished this,’" Arthur said. "I think that’s really when it’s going to hit us. But right now, we’re just trying to keep our family name great.”