The day Jon Jones almost became a janitor, ended up in MMA via Twitter


The New York Times recently did an uneven profile of Jon Jones, that includes a description of how chance and fate played a major role in bringing him into mixed martial arts. World champions in other sports like baseball and soccer, characteristically start as children, and are groomed for years and years. By contrast, Jon Jones found MMA on a whim, via Twitter.

As the 185-pound state wrestling champion from Union-Endicott High School in Endicott, N.Y., Jones set his sights on the college wrestling powerhouses Iowa and Iowa State. Unable to qualify academically for those universities, he attended Iowa Central Community College, a five-time national junior college team champion, hoping to gain attention.

But after Jones won the 197-pound national junior college championship in 2006, he transferred to get a jump-start on a career as a police officer. He registered at Morrisville State College back in upstate New York to study criminal justice.

In the middle of his sophomore year, Jones’s longtime girlfriend, Jessie Moses, became pregnant with their first of three daughters, Leah, and his priorities shifted. He left college in 2007 five credits short of his associate degree, took a job as a nightclub bouncer and was close to accepting a full-time janitor’s position at Lockheed Martin for the health benefits.

At that point, fate, in the form of social media, stepped in. Someone on Twitter, who remains a stranger to Jones, saw his profile picture and offered the name of a local gym that trained mixed martial arts fighters. On a whim, Jones dropped by the place, Bombsquad MMA, in Cortland, N.Y., and began practicing for his debut fight, which took place in April 2008.

That timeline was not compressed for dramatic purposes. “It’s the God’s honest truth,” Jones said, laughing. “I had no real intention of being a UFC fighter, and this guy just threw the idea out there and I went with it.”

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Recent Comments »

edwims site profile image  

4/22/13 4:48 PM by edwims

dude he is a dominant mma champion but as a professional janitor I would janitor his ass to bolivian

UnderTheClock site profile image  

4/22/13 4:34 PM by UnderTheClock

This whole janitor stuff is racist. Talk about getting into those tight spots though.

JFC1001 site profile image  

4/22/13 2:41 PM by JFC1001

For that VTFU

Brian J DSouza site profile image  

4/22/13 2:20 PM by Brian J DSouza


i got banned site profile image  

4/22/13 1:57 PM by i got banned

He would have swept the shit out of those floors.

nomad1974 site profile image  

4/22/13 11:29 AM by nomad1974

These are the current requirements, may have been slightly different in '06, but not much. Keep in mind this is NOT football or basketball where some schools will "cook the books" to get a guy eligible. No money in wrestling, so no coach is going to risk it.Graduate from high school.Complete a minimum of 16 core courses.Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses.Earn a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT.Request final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Soup Nazi site profile image  

4/22/13 7:02 AM by Soup Nazi


SeanSheehanBA site profile image  

4/22/13 1:37 AM by SeanSheehanBA

28th of April 20Chael

sackattack3323 site profile image  

4/22/13 1:30 AM by sackattack3323

Ok I lie. I don't know if I was the first person to. But I remember him winning states and being a dominate wrestler. My whole family is wrestlers so When found out he didn't make it my dad said to me that with his size and reach he should take up MMA. So I remember sending him a message about it. Can't say 100% if I was the first one. Probably not , would be cool though.

sackattack3323 site profile image  

4/22/13 1:23 AM by sackattack3323

Was Facebook not twitter