Greatest fighter’s legacy: Jon Jones updates records after UFC 247
Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) has been performing in the UFC for almost 12 years already with most of the time being the champion and one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters. He had 21 fights during this time, set multiple records and keeps doing that to this day. His recent win over Dominick Reyes enabled him to set a few more records and fastened in others.
Harcord team thoroughly analyzed the greatest athlete’s career, having gathered the most interesting record of Jon Jones that rightfully put him on a par with the greatest representatives of the sport in its history.
The youngest champion in the history of UFC (23 years and 243 days)
This is probably the most famous record of Jon Jones that he was able to set in 2011 at the UFC 128. When he was 23 years and 243 days old, fighting in one of the most competitive divisions where the belt constantly changed hands, Jon Jones managed to defeat a living legend of MMA Mauricio Rua and become the youngest champion in the history of the promotion. A few years later he became one of the most dominant champions of the division to date. Even though nine years passed since that day, no one was even close to break the record.
Jones earns his first championship title in a fight against Rus. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Most wins in the history of light heavyweight division (20)
Many reproach Jones that, being one of the biggest light heavyweights in the UFC roster, he hasn’t tried his hand at heavyweight. However, that allowed him to achieve lots of success in his native division and set a record for the biggest number of wins at 205. Since 2008 he was able to secure 20 wins and neither of his colleagues by the division was able to approach this feat. In the overall ranking of the biggest number of wins he shares the fourth spot with Michael Bisping, Jim Miller, and Georges St-Pierre.
Most wins in title fights in UFC history (14)
Since earning the title that we shortly mentioned above, Jones didn’t have a rated fight because all of them were title fights! Given the fact that “The Bones” doesn’t take no for an answer, he managed to built an impressive record in title fights. In these nine years he was able to have 15 title fights and win each and every one of them confidently but one was eventually called a “no contest”. Before UFC 247 he had the most wins in title fights in the history of light heavyweight and after defeating Reyes he became an uncontested leader of all time, overtaking George St-Pierre whom he shared the first place in this regard with.
Overall duration of championship title retention in the history of light heavyweight division (1908 days at the moment of writing this article – first spot in light heavyweight history)
One of the bonuses of the most dominant champion’s career of all time is the duration of time when Jones was in champion’s status. All in all, the fighter held the title for more than 1900 days which makes him an absolute leader in this regard in the history of light heavyweight division. He comes number five in general list.
The longest uninterrupted light heavyweight title retention period in the history of the division (1501 days)
From March 2011 to April 2015 Jones had the longest period in his career when he held the light heavyweight title. He would have held it even longer if he hadn’t gotten into a car accident involving a pregnant woman and hadn’t fled from the crime scene. After the incident the promotion stripped him off the title, having interrupted his long-time reigning in the division that lasted for 1501 days. However, that didn’t stop Jones from taking the first spot in this regard in the history of the division and fifth spot in the pound-for-pound list.
Longest overall time spent in title fights in the history of the UFC (4:39:47)
When you perform in title fights since you’re 23, the overall time spent inside of the Octagon starts getting measured in hours. Only a few can boast of any achievements in this aspect and Jon Jones is among these selected few, and not just “among” but he leads them. All in all, Jones fought for the title for 4 hours 14 minutes and 47 seconds. Impressive, huh? The main and only competitor for Jones in this regard is legendary Canadian Georges St-Pierre who spent 19 seconds less than Jones before Jones vs. Reyes fight and he now falls back to almost half an hour. Other fighters are far behind these two.
Most title defenses in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division (11)
Another unique achievement that is a direct result of the previous one. As we already said, Jones had and won 14 title fights in his UFC career and 11 of them were his official title defenses. After winning all of them, Jones has become an absolute leader for the biggest number of successful title defenses in the history of the light heavyweight division. He bested previous record-holder in this regard – Tito Ortiz – by a great margin, as Ortiz had twice as less title defenses. His win over Dominick Reyes allowed Jones to share the first spot in this symbolical pound-for-pound list with Demetrious Johnson who managed to defend his flyweight title 11 times before leaving the UFC.
Most consecutive title fights in the history of the UFC (15)
Beyond the light heavyweight division Jones can boast of another rather interesting achievement connected with the number of consecutive title fights. If we take his rematch with Cormier that, despite being called a “no contest” is still in his record and was a title fight, we can say that Jon Jones is an absolute record-holder for the biggest number of consecutive title fights. The light heavyweight belt was featured in his last 15 fight one way or another and they were following each other one by one which is the most impressive factor in the history of the division.
Most strikes landed in the history of the light heavyweight division (1835)
Even though Jones’ background is wrestling, his unrivaled size and physics enabled him to become a first-class striker. Recklessness is not what Jones is famous for, he’s extremely practical and calculating in his fights and doesn’t throw millions of useless strikes during fights. Still, he managed to throw and land 1835 strikes during his career and become an absolute record-holder in this regard among all light heavyweight fighters in the UFC ever. He takes number 6 in the overall ranking in this regard (among all divisions).
Most significant strikes landed in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division (1463)
Given the abovementioned facts, it comes as no surprise that Jones is also a record-holder of the division by the number of significant strikes. Jon may boast of landing 1463 strikes out of his 1835 right into the target and being called “significant”. He’s also an absolute record-holder in this regard in the history of the division and takes number 5 in the list among all divisions in the same regard.
Shares first spot by most wins by submission in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division (5)
Even though Jon Jones prefers to fight standing, he had more than one situation in his career when he had to move to the ground. And he passed the test honorably, having been able to secure five wins via submissions over the opponents many of which were BJJ black belts. With five wins by submission he shared the first spot in this list with Glover Teixeira and Misha Cirkunov. If we consider the question without taking any division into account, Jones takes number four with, beside Teixeira and Cirkunov, Demian Maia and Antonio Carlos Junior present.
Shares first spot by most finishes in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division (10)
Jon Jones is one of the most multifaceted MMA fighters in the history of this sport that doesn’t have to rely solely on his strikes or anything else. He won his last three fights by decisions but it didn’t stop him from finishing his opponent ten times in the past. He shares the first spot by the number of most finishes in the light heavyweight division with such legends as Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. He also shares the fourth spot with these guys in the overall pound-for-pound list in this regard.
Best takedown defense in the history of the light heavyweight division (95%)
Jon Jones is one of the three fighters whose takedown defense truly admires you. In the list of light heavyweight fighters with at least five fights in the promotion and at least 20 takedowns in their fights he takes number one spot by a huge margin. In the pound-for-pound list he goes second in this regard ceding only to Jimmie Rivera whose takedown defense is 95.8%.
The toughest opponents in history (wins over 8 former champions of big promotions)
Jones is a unique fighter by all accounts. As we already said, he started beating legends when he was slightly over 20. During this time dozens of top opponents fell victims to his style and talent and eight of them were champions in different big promotions in their time: Brandon Vera (ONE Championship), Ryan Bader (Bellator), Mauricio Rua (UFC, Pride Grand Prix), Vitor Belfort (UFC), Quinton Jackson (UFC), Lyoto Machida (UFC), Rashad Evans (UFC), Daniel Cormier (UFC).