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Arthur Jones wanted to try MMA during the 2011 lockout

UFC Star Jon Jones Visits the Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones had just wrapped up his rookie year with the Ravens when the NFL’s owners locked out the players in 2011. Jones now says that if the lockout had gone any longer, he was prepared to try another sport professionally: mixed martial arts.

“I love MMA,” Arthur told John Morgan of the Indianapolis Star. “It’s fun to watch, and it’s something I entertained early in my football career if football didn’t work out, of me fighting in the UFC. But things are going well for me right now, so I’m going to stick with my career. I was supposed to take a fight when we had the lockout a few years ago. I was getting ready to schedule it, and I was training for it. Thank God for the other guy the lockout ended.”

Jones references potentially fighting in the UFC, but it seems unlikely that he could have done that with no experience in 2011. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the premier organization in mixed martial arts, and it’s very rare for fighters to debut in the UFC before first fighting in lower-level MMA organizations. Jones would also have to lose 50 pounds just to fight in the heavyweight division of the UFC, where the upper limit is 265 pounds.

However, it’s possible that the UFC would have made an exception for Arthur Jones because it would have given the UFC a lot of free publicity to have an NFL player in the Octagon. Jones’s younger brother Jon Jones won the UFC light heavyweight championship during the 2011 lockout, and so the UFC might have been interested in promoting a fight involving the big brother of their new champion.

Arthur Jones’s teammate Tom Zbikowski did some pro boxing during the lockout, so Jones wouldn’t have been alone if he had made some money as a fighter. But while Jones may believe the guy he was going to fight was lucky the lockout ended, Jones himself should be even more grateful: The five-year, $33 million contract Jones just got from the Colts is a whole lot more money than he would make fighting in a cage.

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17 Responses to “Arthur Jones wanted to try MMA during the 2011 lockout”
  1. heisthejuan says: May 1, 2014 10:32 AM

    One thing is for certain, I would not want to get into a rumble with the Jones brothers.

  2. rwhite84 says: May 1, 2014 10:36 AM

    What would he have done when he realised eh couldn’t make it in the UFC and he was now 50 pounds below his playing weight? Very hard to put on 50 pounds strategically so not to become out of shape.

  3. Coach John Harbaugh says: May 1, 2014 10:40 AM

    this is why we are the ravens and the rest of you are our minions

  4. tybyebye says: May 1, 2014 10:41 AM

    Boxing > MMA

  5. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: May 1, 2014 11:02 AM

    MMA much > Boxing

    Boxing involves a *very* limited number and manner of threats — two guys with overstuffed pillows only allowed to strike guys above the “belt” and from the front only. These are the guys who pull their belt almost all the way up to their nipples. Try “running” Floyd Mayweather style in the UFC and see how that works for ya.

    MMA has so many threats and vulnerabilities to attack, defend or counter. This isn’t even close. The skill levels are light years apart.

  6. granadafan says: May 1, 2014 11:02 AM

    Boxing is a joke.

  7. Coach John Harbaugh says: May 1, 2014 11:04 AM

    ozzie did it again. a late 5th round pick named arthur jones became a super bowl starter and now a 35+ million dollar man.

    #ozzieozzieozzie

  8. cajunirish says: May 1, 2014 11:04 AM

    Ty, maybe you should tell that to James Toney.

  9. 49erfan44 says: May 1, 2014 11:09 AM

    Boxing is dead.

  10. cas5875 says: May 1, 2014 11:26 AM

    ultimately, he would have only had to lose about 20-30lbs. the rest of the weight would be weight cut during training camp which fighters tend to put back on quickly.

    His brother is said to average between 220-235lbs between fights and cuts down to 205.

    While most people would think it was ridiculous, considering who his brother is, i would say it is a safe bet that both Arthur and Chandler are highly trained in MMA. And having a brother who regularly cuts 20lbs, give or take, would make it easier for Arthur to cut weight in a healthy fashion from the 285-290 range to the 265lbs limit. and staying at 285-290ish would still leave him plenty of size for resuming his NFL career.

  11. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 1, 2014 12:00 PM

    “Thank God for the other guy that the lockout ended”
    You gotta love people who are so arrogant that they think they would be good at something like MMA just because they play football.
    “The other guy”, who would have been an actual MMA fighter, would have destroyed Jones.
    Forget about the fact that he wouldn’t have been able to drop the 50 pounds and if he did and then the lockout ended he would have been way underweight to start playing football.
    So arrogant on so many levels.

  12. rutchaser says: May 1, 2014 12:04 PM

    Boxing died when Mike Tyson got beat.

  13. pittski says: May 1, 2014 12:08 PM

    As an MMA fighter, I can personally say we don’t make s*** moneywise. Would have been stupid for him to risk his health and that contract even just training during the lockout. And btw…..MMA > Boxing. Get real

  14. JDRDone says: May 1, 2014 12:11 PM

    Art was a state champion in wrestling in high school, so he has some of the base needed for MMA. No, he wouldn’t be a polished product with minimal comprehensive MMA training, but given his athleticism, he wouldn’t be a slouch either.

  15. bigbenownsthenfl says: May 1, 2014 12:55 PM

    Ravens are terrible! Steelers #1

  16. mfinsrule says: May 1, 2014 1:06 PM

    His team mate Ray Rice went all MMA on his fiance. Maybe he should join this MMA thing and pick on someone who has an equal chance of knocking him out.

  17. corvetteman6 says: May 1, 2014 9:08 PM

    Wow, what an offseason in Baltimore. Has anyone there even been thinking about football? Hey Ravens fans, 6-10 is looking mighty optimistic.

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