Since making his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008, reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has climbed the ranks unlike anyone before him and quickly evolved into one of the most successful fighters in the organization's history.
In a mixed martial arts (MMA) career that has only lasted just over six years, "Bones" has accomplished more than most fighters will in a lifetime and it's hardly farfetched to say the 25-year-old hasn't even entered his physical and mental prime yet.
Jones (17-1) has gone from experienced and unknown prospect to one of the sport's pound-for-pound greats in a shorter time than anyone else and this Saturday night (April 27, 2013) at UFC 159: "Jones vs. Sonnen," the American will look to further add to his tremendous resume when he takes on his rival and opposing coach from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17, Chael Sonnen, at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey.
Every time the young phenom steps in the cage it is a monumental occasion for the sport, and with one of the most significant bouts of his career just around the corner, what better time than now to take a closer look at all the achievements Jones has under his belt thus far.
Follow me as we go "Behind the Numbers" for Jon Jones:
- Currently the No. 1 ranked light heavyweight fighters in the world and No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world behind middleweight champion Anderson Silva, according to the official UFC rankings.
- Current eight-fight UFC win-streak is tied with Lyoto Machida for the longest in light heavyweight history.
- Holds the record for most submission victories in light heavyweight history with five.
- His eleven light heavyweight wins are the four most in UFC history. A win at UFC 159 would tie him with Rashad Evans for the third most at 12. Tito Ortiz is second with 15 while Chuck Liddell leads the category at 16.
- Holds five career wins over fighters who once held an undisputed UFC championship belt, the most of any active fighter in the organization.
- A win at UFC 159 would tie him with Junior dos Santos for the third longest win-streak in UFC history at nine. Royce Gracie and Georges St. Pierre are tied for second at 11 while Anderson Silva leads the category at 16.
- Only fighter to ever defeat top-10 light heavyweight Lyoto Machida by submission, and only fighter to ever finish Mauricio Rua with strikes.
- Became the youngest champion in UFC history when he beat "Shogun" Rua for the title at UFC 128 when he was 23 years and eight months of age.
- Became the youngest fighter in UFC history to defend a championship belt when he beat "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 135 when he was 24 years, two months and 5 days old.
- As of April 27, 2013, will be tied with Chuck Liddell for the second longest light heavyweight title reign in UFC history at 770 days. Ortiz holds the record at 1,260 days.
- Is one of two current UFC champions (Ronda Rousey) to have never lost by knockout, submission or decision.
- Can tie Tito Ortiz's record for the most title defences in UFC light heavyweight history at five with a win at UFC 159.
- His four UFC title fights in a 364-day span between Sept. 24, 2011 and Sept. 22, 2012, are the most in modern UFC history.
- Can tie Ortiz and Matt Hughes for the third most consecutive title defenses in UFC history at five with a win at UFC 159. Georges St. Pierre is second with eight while Anderson Silva leads the category with 10.
- Second to women's bantamweight champion Rousey for highest finishing percentage of the nine current UFC champion at 82 percent.
- Can tie Ortiz's record for third-most wins in UFC championship fights at six with a win at UFC 159. Matt Hughes and Randy Couture are tied for second at nine while Anderson Silva and St. Pierre lead the category with 11.
- Has never been taken down in his 18-fight MMA career, including 16 of 16 takedown attempts successful defended in the UFC.
- Is only one of two fighters in UFC history (Patrick Smith) to win two fights via a standing submission.
- Owns the second highest takedown accuracy in UFC light heavyweight history at 63.9 percent. Machida leads the category at 65 percent.
- Has landed the third most significant strikes of any fighter in UFC light heavyweight history with 532. Ortiz is second at 555 and Forrest Griffin leads the category at 796.
- Has the fifth-most total strikes landed light heavyweight history with 706. Matt Hamill is fourth with 857, Stephan Bonnar third at 1005, Forrest Griffin second at 1096 and Tito Ortiz leads the category with 1241 total strikes landed.
If it weren't for a rare disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in his fourth UFC fight, Jones' resume would be even longer. But that's the way the sport goes and anyone who watched the fight knows that the blemish on his record from that day means little.
After looking over his stat sheet, there is no denying Jones is one of the best to ever compete in the sport and is well on his way to becoming the greatest 205-pound in the history of the sport.