Jon Jones once again sits atop the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight division, his transcendent talents casting an enormous shadow across an entire sport.
“Bones” set aside his out-of-competition troubles, returned from a yearlong United States Anti-Doping Agency suspension and reclaimed the 205-pound championship in the UFC 214 main event, as he took care of archrival Daniel Cormier with a third-round head kick and follow-up punches on July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The 30-year-old Rochester, New York, native has rattled off 14 consecutive victories since being disqualified for using illegal 12-to-6 elbows on an overmatched Matt Hamill in December 2009, a staggering 11 of those wins coming in interim or undisputed title fights. Jones has taken out a long list of top-flight opposition, including six former UFC champions: Cormier, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson and Mauricio Rua.
As he awaits his next challenge, here are five things you might not know about the two-time UFC light heavyweight titleholder:
1. The odds are almost always in his favor.
Jones has been the underdog in only two of his 18 appearances under the Ultimate Fighting Championship flag. According to BestFightOdds.com, “Bones” closed at +160 for his promotional debut against Andre Gusmao (-250) at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008. Some six months later, “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finalist Stephan Bonnar (-185) was favored to beat Jones (+135) at UFC 194.
2. He is a statistical marvel.
It should come as little surprise that Jones can be found all over the FightMetric record book. He ranks first on the all-time list for UFC light heavyweights in significant strikes landed (1,116), significant strike defense (65.3), total strikes landed (1,368), submission attempts (10) and takedown defense (95.0), second in significant strike accuracy (55.8), strike differential (2.29) and takedowns landed (36), third in strikes absorbed per minute (2.12) and takedown accuracy (50.0) and fourth in knockdowns landed (five) and strikes landed per minute (4.41).
3. No one has run a more difficult gauntlet.
The 13 men Jones has defeated during his current 14-fight winning streak -- Cormier (twice), Belfort, Evans, Machida, Jackson, Rua, Ovince St. Preux, Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson, Chael Sonnen, Ryan Bader, Vladimir Matyushenko and Brandon Vera -- have combined for 307 victories between them.
4. He has cashed in on his talent for violence.
The Jackson Wink-MMA star has been awarded eight post-fight bonuses totaling $485,000 since he first appeared in the UFC nine years ago: four for “Fight of the Night,” two for “Submission of the Night,” one for “Knockout of the Night” and one for “Performance of the Night.”
5. The wins have piled up.
Jones has recorded 17 wins in the UFC, tying him with Anderson Silva for sixth-most in history. He trails only Michael Bisping (20), Georges St. Pierre (19), Donald Cerrone (19), Demian Maia (19) and Matt Hughes (18).