UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has reportedly inked a multi-year sponsorship deal with Nike, according to MMAFighting.com. Jones also recently confirmed the news via Twitter.
“Blessed to be signed by the biggest sports apparel company in the world, Nike. Dreams do come true,” the champion wrote, also confirming that he will join the likes of NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James by receiving his own signature line of products.
The reported global deal with the Oregon-based apparel organization is expected to be the first of its kind for a mixed martial artist. Though longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Japanese standouts Yoshihiro Akiyama, Caol Uno and Kazuyuki Miyata signed deals with Nike in their respective home countries, the scope of Jones' exposure with the brand figures to be greater. An official announcement on the signing is expected to come shortly.
Just 24 years old, Jones is regarded as one of the sport's top pound-for-pound talents. “Bones” captured the UFC light heavyweight title in March 2011, stopping Mauricio Rua in the third round of their UFC 128 contest. Successful title defenses over Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida would follow for Jones, who submitted both former champions to close out last year. The Jackson's MMA representative last competed at April's UFC 145, outpointing yet another ex-champion in former teammate Rashad Evans. Jones will next defend his championship against former Strikeforce king Dan Henderson on Sept. 1 at UFC 151.