Jon Jones has defeated a who’s who of light-heavyweight talent in the UFC, but ahead of his headlining fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 this weekend, he’s admitted that one fighter in particular used to give him nightmares.
“The last time I had major doubt going into a fight, I would have to say it was when I fought ‘Rampage’ Jackson,” Jones said at a UFC 200 media event. “I had a lot of nightmares leading up to that fight of things not going my way. And for some reason, he just … he intimidated me. He really did. I don’t know what it was.”
Thinking it through, ‘Bones’ belives it was due to the fact that he used to look up to ‘Rampage’ when he was younger.
“I think it had something to do with being a young, black kid and ‘Rampage’ is one of those guys – he’s the guy, you know? He howls and the big old chain and everything. I kind of looked up to him and idolized him. Even though I knew I was a better martial artist, there was almost like a big-brother complex in there somewhere in a weird way. I used to have bad dreams of things not going my way against ‘Rampage.'”
Despite his fears, Jones had few problems defeating his idol at UFC 135 in September of 2011, eventually submitting him in the fourth round with a rear-naked choke.
That’s all in the past now though, and another major challenge now stands before him as he looks to defeat Daniel Cormier for a second time at UFC 200 this weekend and reclaim the 205lb title he was stripped off last year.