Jon Jones produced another memorable victory last night at UFC 140 against Lyoto Machida, but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
The light-heavyweight champion admitted backstage after the fight that it took some time to find his rhythm against Machida’s unique style.
“It took a little while to adjust,” he told MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani. “I’ve never fought anybody with Lyoto’s speed and agility and awkwardness. He has a completely different style that I respect a lot.”
He also reveals that some of the Karate-stylist’s technique’s caught him off-guard.
“I trained to counter and defend against all straight punches and he ended up catching me with some kind of hook.”
Interestingly Jones also says that from his perspective, heading into this fight Machida was a somewhat daunting prospect.
“I look up to Lyoto a lot, I think he’s awesome. He was the champ when I joined the UFC, so he always had a mystique about him to me.”
It wasn’t until Jones was given advice from his corner after the opening five minutes to not be afraid to use his wrestling that things began to click into place for him.
A takedown early in the second round lead to some vicious elbow strikes which opened up a large gash on Machida’s forehead, and it was only then that Jones confidence began to surge.
“Once I seen him bleed it humanized him, big time.”
It certainly appeared to change the whole complexion of the fight, and shortly afterwards Jones dropped Machida with a left hand and then went on to completely choke him out with a standing guillotine to cap off what’s been a remarkable, and perhaps even unprecedented year in the life of the young champion.
The bad news for his future opponents is that Jones isn’t under the illusion that he’s unbeatable and believes that this fight has highlighted areas where he can improve as a fighter.
“I feel like I learned a lot. I’m going to learn from my mistakes and work on my defence.”
Having said that, after an exceptionally busy 2011 which has saw him fight four times, including three fights against former champions, Jones is looking for some well earned time off.
“I’ll probably ask the UFC to let me take off at least five months, but if they want me to fight sooner I’m sure I’ll suck it up and get back to work.”
Watch the full interview with Jones below courtesy of MMAFighting.