Jon Jones Discusses Coaching Role on The Ultimate Fighter 17

There is little doubt these days of the capabilities of light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the Octagon. At 25 years of age, he stands atop one of the toughest divisions in the sport, and according to his coaches he is still growing as a fighter. Now that he is leading other fighters on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter 17 against Chael Sonnen, Jones has had to adjust to being the head of a team instead of part of one, though it appears to be a transition he enjoyed making…

Jones told MMAJunkie:

“I definitely have become a leader in my own team at Jackson’s MMA. It’s something that has been slowly coming upon me, and I feel it. So you embrace it. You embrace the idea of being the light to people and really trying to impact someone’s life in a positive way.”

Jones on his coaching style:

“I guess the biggest thing that I did was demand respect through legitimacy between everything I said to the guys and what I expected out of the guys to the vibe I gave off to these guys. I was definitely there to be those guys’ mentor, friend and supporter. Obviously it’s about those guys and not me, but I want to be a role model, too, despite the age difference. I want to lead by example and show these guys what has made me me and give them a piece of that.”

Jones discusses his stint on TUF 17:

“I think this whole championship is a matter of coaching them mentally. These guys should already be in shape before they got here. I want to see which guys want to consider themselves a leader and which guy is going to take that inferior role. The whole journey is mental. … The whole experience, I consider the tournament to be something like a boot camp, an initiation. So it’s more about pushing them to the limit mentally to see if they’re really ready to be a champion.”