NEWARK, March 19 - For a world title challenger, fight day is a time for rest, reflection and last-minute attention to game plans. For Jon Jones, just hours before his challenge of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event of UFC 128, it was also time for some crime fighting, as the light heavyweight title challenger and his trainers Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn foiled an attempted robbery Saturday afternoon in a Paterson, New Jersey park.
As Jones and his team arrived at the park for some last minute meditation, a typical part of his fight day ritual, they were told that an elderly couple was just robbed of the GPS device in their car. Winklejohn and Jackson gave chase, telling Jones to stay back due to his impending fight.
“I didn’t want him to get hurt,” said Jackson.
Jones ignored the advice and began running, quickly getting in the lead. The alleged assailant fell to the ground, but as he made it back to his feet, Jones foot swept him, putting him back on the ground.
The second time he tried to rise, Jackson took him down with a blast double leg and secured an armbar. The alleged attacker still struggled, with Jones locking him down for good with what Jackson described as a “funky figure four leg lock.” As Jackson held him at bay, Jones lectured “it’s not right taking other people’s money from them. They work hard for it.”
And despite this obvious wrench in the works of what should have been a sedate day before the biggest fight of his life, Jones is continuing with business as usual, and Jackson has no worries about his charge’s ability to perform tonight.
“I don’t think it threw him off at all,” said Jackson. “I think it empowered Jon.”
The three finished their meditation.
Said Jones on his Twitter account, “Found the end of a rainbow today, just finished getting my mind right w/ greg and wink.”