After fighting four times in 10 months against the toughest competition that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 205-pound division has to offer, defeating three former champions, reigning light heavyweight kingin, Jon Jones, has earned some time off.
And then some.
Throughout his historic run in 2011, Jones, 24, has not sustained significant damage in any fight, allowing him to have quick turnarounds and compete often with limited breaks. He's made it look way too easy -- it's a feat unheard of in any combat sport.
Even though "Bones" may have yet to be on the receiving end of any major damage -- or fallen victim to a major injury in training or in competition -- one has to take into account the long, grueling training camps that the young champion has endured to prepare for his title defenses. One must also consider his family, who have sacrificed time away from their father, significant other, son and brother in order for him to achieve his goals.
Having said all that, it's easy to assume the UFC light heavyweight champion will take a much-deserved vacation after a breakneck fight schedule in 2011.
Speaking at the UFC 140 post-fight press conference (watch the full video here) after his submission win over Lyoto Machida (get all the details right here) in the main event of the evening, Jones admits he is ready to take a break; however, if the promotion needs him in a pinch, he is ready to start off 2012 the same way he ended 2011 ... and that's fighting:
"I would like to take up to four months of, maybe even five. Come on Dana, give me a break, give me a break please. Yeah, fighting maybe three times in 2012 would be nice, but you know a break sounds nice, too. So, it's really up to the UFC, one of my goals is to be a company guy, so if the UFC asks me to do something, I probably won't put up much of a fight. So it's really up to Dana."
Company man indeed.
Though no one will blame Jones if he decides to take a long break to enjoy the fruits of his labor and spend time with his family, the fact still remains: Jones is healthy, which is a state that other box office draws such as Georges St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar are not.
Therefore, a quick turnaround to fight in 2012 is not so far-fetched ... especially if FOX Sports comes a calling.
What's more, Dan Henderson has an empty dance card and the always stacked SuperBowl weekend event needs some much needed star power now that aforementioned Canadian superstar has been shelved because of a major knee injury.
What do you say Maniacs, should "Bones" take some well-deserved time off, or should he jump right back on the horse and keep riding his momentum and add to his rapidly growing legacy?
"Hendo," 41, isn't getting any younger.