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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Jon 'Bones' Jones talks about Nike deal

By Lynn Hoppes

Growing up in upstate New York in a big family, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones didn't have many new clothes of his own.

With an older brother, 6-foot-3 Arthur Jones of the Baltimore Ravens, and even a bigger younger brother, 6-5 Chandler Jones of the New England Patriots, the 6-4 Jon Jones wasn't always first.

Light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones was styling his Nike shirt at ESPN's campus on Tuesday.
"I never really had anything of my own," said Jones, who was visiting ESPN's Bristol, Conn., offices on Tuesday. "I grew up wearing only hand-me-downs."

So imagine what today is like for the 25-year-old Jones -- the youngest UFC titleholder in history -- who recently signed a worldwide marketing deal with Nike. The shoe and clothing line will be out in three to four months, Jones said.

"I have a lot of pride with this deal. I consider myself a pretty marketable individual," said Jones, who is fighting Vitor Belfort on Saturday at UFC 152. "I think it's important to wear different hats in this sport because you can't do it forever."

Jones' deal mirrors that of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, whose deal in Brazil went global too.

Jones said the initial offering will be about 3,000 items at select stores to get a gauge of the interest.

"Being sponsored will motivate me to push the limits to fighting more often," said Jones (16-1), who is working with the Nike designers on the color and style now. "I want to dominate and be that guy. I want to be the Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods of this sport."

And, Jones said, that means modeling -- "not that I'm the best-looking guy" -- and acting in TV and movies.

"I want to use this sport and not let the sport use me," Jones said. "God willing, I hope I never have to wear hand-me-downs again."