It wasn't too long ago that Jon Jones was just a 20-year-old kid who idolized Anderson Silva and wanted to try his hand at mixed martial arts.
Of course, four years later Jones is the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion set to make his second title defense at UFC 140 on Saturday. But still, to those that were in Foxborough on April 12, 2008 for FFP: Untamed 20, "Bones" will likely forever be the unnaturally talented rookie who streamrolled his way through a terrified Brad Bernard.
Professional debuts are fascinating because we can often catch the first glimpse of certain character traits -- and in Jones' case, greatness -- that eventually becomes routine for fighters. And "Bones" sure doesn't disappoint.
In just a minute-and-a-half, two things become quickly apparent: Jones' otherworldly athleticism and his penchant for arrogance. Bloody Elbow's Fraser Coffeen explains:
Things start off going along as you would expect from the debut of a future champion. Jones is controlling the ground, looking good in the process, and then he hits this stunning suplex seemingly out of nowhere, hurling Bernard straight onto his head. From there, we get a glimpse of the Jon Jones that a lot of people don't love, as he gloats over the fallen body of Bernard, then throws some shots, gets up, and viciously punts Bernard straight in the ribs. Nothing illegal about any of this, but it's certainly not the most sportsmanlike conduct you've ever seen. Still, it makes an impression, and 92 seconds into his career, it's clear this is a kid to watch.