Jon Jones Explains How He Mentally Humanizes Opposing Fighters
Jon Bones Jones is one of the hottest prospects in MMA, and the emerging star has earned a shot at the title against Shogun Rua at UFC 128. The 23-year-old’s career has moved quickly, and we’re learning that his accomplishments are due to his mental approach as much as his physical tools and athletic skills. Take for instance the strategies he uses as he explained it to Pro MMA Now in an interview:
“I just put in extra effort into the mind and things like that, a lot of sports psychology, a lot of meditation, a lot of religion, things like that.” Jones continued “As far as when I’m in the Octagon, I’m always looking at the opponent’s body when I’m standing there. I’m big on not fighting an opponent’s name, his credentials, his past fights, his face. I fight the body and when I’m standing across and I’m looking at his body, I’m really just humanizing the guy, and looking at imperfection in his physique.”
His comments remind me a lot of what I’ve heard from certain football coaches. If you ever hear some coaches talk, they hardly ever refer to an opposing player by name. Instead, some of them only refer to opposing players by number. Think about it: is it easier to tackle number 28 for the Vikings, or Adrian Peterson? Tackling number 28 is a lot less intimidating than trying to bring down All Day. It’s the same thing in fighting and all physical games — mentally humanizing your opponent can give you an edge in competition. Mastering the mental game is just as important as the physical one when it comes to combat sports. It’s no surprise that Jones is so advanced despite his age given his approach.