When you first approach Jon “Bones” Jones you do so carefully, and cautiously. This is the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones after all. He became the youngest champ in UFC history when he won the belt in 2011 and has dispatched all comers since with a mix of knockout power, submission holds and everything in between. Armed with that knowledge (and not much else), you didn’t don’t exactly want to rush headlong into Jones, for fear that you could end up in rear naked chokehold, like the one that felled Quinton “Rampage” Jackson a few years back.
But what you find when you sit down with Jones, as I did at the recent launch of the new Reebok Pump, is a man who’s quite welcoming, warm even. Perhaps that’s the confidence that comes when you can squish most men like a grape. Or when you’ve survived as the middle child in a family that also includes two Super Bowl champions. (Younger brother Chandler won with the Patriots last season; and older brother Arthur captured the Lombardi Trophy with the Ravens in 2012.)
In a TriBeCa studio in New York City, I talked with Jones about his style, his cars, and what the future holds for the champ.
How would you describe your personal style?
Kind of sporty. I’m the type of guy who thinks I can make anything work. I try to dress pretty classy. I never overdo it.
Are there any designers that you vibe on?
I love Ferragamo. I’m a fan of that brand. I spend a lot of money on Louis [Vuitton], but that’s because my fiancé is obsessed. She has almost every bag. I’m not that big into fashion. I just believe in owning whatever you wear and making it look good.
What about cars?
I love nice cars. I have a Bentley Continental GT Coupe, a 2012. I drive a Ford Raptor, the Roush Raptor, which is a beautiful truck. And I’m thinking about getting an Audi S8.
Are you a watch collector?
I wouldn’t call myself a collector but I have a few watches. I have two Rolexes and a Breitling and a Hublot.
What’s a typical day like when you’re in training mode?
A lot of work. I’ll wake up at 9 a.m. and do live martial arts, going at it with someone in wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, or jiu jitsu. That’s every morning. Every afternoon I’m doing some type of strength and conditioning, whether I’m in a Crossfit-style gym or swimming with a swim coach. Every night I’m doing one-on-one private sessions in martial arts and I study with my coaches extensively.
What do you think about the new Reebok Z Pump Fusion sneakers?
I think it’s a phenomenal product. It is an awesome year-round shoe. I can wear it for any workout, whether I’m cycling, running in the mountains, sprints. You can do pretty much anything in the shoe. Off-season, I can wear it taking my kids to school, lounging around the house. It feels like you’re wearing a sock.
How do you like the design?
It’s a good look. It’s sleek. You can wear them with jeans, with shorts, with sweatpants. It’s versatile.
What does the future hold for you?
My next fight coming up is Anthony Johnson. He’s a phenomenal challenger, a guy with great knockout power. I’m assuming I’ll win that fight. After that, I’m getting to a point in my career where I have to rematch guys I’ve already beaten. Any time someone gets a second chance to avenge a loss, they’re going to try a lot harder, which means there’s a chance for upset and extremely entertaining bouts.