(Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Can Jon Jones Put Aside Mental Battles, Regain UFC Glory? Nedu Obi April 7, 2016 Events, News, Spotlight, UFC Apropos fighting, Jon Jones’ mental state is 99% on point all of the time, so much so, that it’ll be the main catalyst in his regaining UFC 205-pound Glory. Jones’ projected rematch with arch-rival and current light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 197 was nixed when the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) resident pulled out citing a foot injury. Nonetheless, the former divisions’ kingpin still gets to headline the aforementioned event when he throws down against Ovince Saint Preux for the inconsequential interim title. It’s safe to say that Jones’ transgressions outside the Octagon have been well-documented; some of which have included substance abuse, driving incidents and jail time (here here here and here). All told, heading into this must-win contest, the 28-year-old native New Yorker will still have that slew of unwanted baggage in his wake, but it is what is. Most folk, not to mention some fighters, would falter under those same circumstances (some of which were self-inflicted), whilst others would slink away into the dark shadows of depression etc., but not Jones; Not for a second. Never Jones. The Jack-Wink product is an altogether different kind of species; you knock him down, he gets right back up. He’s no different in the eight-walled cage; he’s permanently in beast mode. That steely-eyed mindset was what propelled him to 205 lbs. Holy Grail in 2011, making him, at 23, the youngest titlist in the history of the Zuffa-based promotion. It was that same mental resolve which surfaced at UFC 152 when Vitor Beltor was moments away from breaking his arm, but he vehemently refused to tap out. Nevertheless, he would later go on to submit “The Phenom” via americana. And lest we forget his epic see-saw battle with Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson at UFC 165; battered, bruised and on the brink of coughing up his belt, he dug deep to eke out a victory via unanimous decision. Now that’s bucket loads of sand. To best sum him up; in terms of mental fortitude, “Bones” Jones (21-1 MMA, 15-1 UFC) is the MMA equivalent of boxing’s former pound-for-pound overlord Floyd Mayweather Jr. — no matter what obstacles these two combatants find in their paths, they seem to possess that innate ability to circumvent without looking back in anger. A rare breed they are indeed. Needless to say, it’s also their inner beast and their never-say-die attitude that separates them from the mere mortals of the fighting pack; they are the immortals of their respective métiers. And as is the case, Jones encapsulates that fighting moxie more so than any other mixed martial artist. His second reign atop the light heavyweight summit is all but a formality. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell. A befitting idiom for arguably the greatest fighter to have ever laced on a pair of 4oz mitts.