If you were an MMA fighter with a 9-1 record and had a shot at making it to the UFC or WEC by securing just a few more wins on the local circuit, who would you fight? If you live in Texas, it might be Edwynn "Ox" Jones.
Jones, who sports a 6-14 record in his 22-month-long career, has scrapped with some of the toughest fighters in the state. The list of combatants includes former UFC, WEC and Pride vets; TUF cast members; and several fighters about to break through. Mike Bronzoulis, Cleburn Walker, Liam McCarty and Kamal Shalorus are among the group of fighters that "Ox" has faced in his young career.
On June 5, Jones continues the trend of matching up with MMA vets by taking on Anthony Macias, who fought in both Pride and the UFC. Jones and Macias will be the main event at Xtreme Knockout 7 to be held at The Gym in Arlington.
Jones has been known in the Texas market for being one of those fighters that rarely turns down a matchup, even at the last minute. Whether he wins or loses, he always expects there to be an opportunity to make it to a bigger show with just one outstanding performance against a high-level opponent.
“They’ll call me last minute and say 'Ox, you’ve gotta fight. Everybody else is backing out.' I’m gonna go and get it. You call me to fight, I’m gonna fight. I like putting on shows, you know. My opportunity will come sooner or later.
“I’m trying to get in the UFC. When someone sees me they will realize that they have to give this guy a try. This guy has fought so many good people and they didn’t beat him like many expected. I know the record is important, but I feel the caliber of fighters I’ve fought against is also important.”
Despite his motivation to take on anybody and everybody, he does feel that sometimes he unknowingly is fed to some of the more accomplished fighters in the area and thinks that the promotions are not always upfront with the quality level of his opponent.
“Some of the promoters out there, I don’t respect them,” Jones says. “If they got a fighter that’s good going up against another excellent fighter and one of them backs out, they come to me fishing for an ‘easy’ fight.”
“Promoters will call me wanting me to be on a card, and a couple weeks down the line I’ll find out he has more fights than me and has more experience than I have. Why can’t they be real with me?” Jones says.
Even with the target on his back, the Houston-area fighter is confident in his game. He refuses to allow his opponent’s experience and fight record get in the way of his goals.
“I don’t give a damn how good you are,” Jones says. “Anybody can get beat any day. A champ’s gotta fall sometime or another. You can’t always be standing tall.”
Although he’s lost to some of the best fighters in the state, a defiant Jones doesn’t feel there was much to be learned from his opponents. Out for respect, he’s even got issues with a few previous opponents that he says are not willing to face him again.
“I’m not gonna lie, they were some good fighters and I did learn from them,” Jones says. “But at the same time I don’t acknowledge those fighters too much. They’re [expletive] fighters. I was supposed to rematch with Kamal [Shalorus] and Mike Bronzoulis. I know I’m somebody, but in their eyes I’m a nobody. So why are you scared to fight a nobody? Liam [McCarty] is the only guy I consider a good fighter. Cleburne [Walker], Kamal and Mike Bronzoulis are still on my hit list.”
I personally admire Jones’ motivation to avenge his losses, a la Chuck Liddell, but in local MMA it’s extremely rare. Most fighters will try to face opponents with ever-increasing skill level as well as attempt to take on fighters with different styles as a means to assist them in making the jump to the larger promotions. Sequels are typically reserved for title fights or very exciting bouts like, Florentino vs. Ortiz at SWC 9. I’m still waiting for Part 2 of that fight, by the way.
Although Jones’ opponent at XKO 7 has fought in the UFC and in Pride, he feels that age and power will be on his side. Win or lose, Jones is looking to make a statement against yet another high-caliber opponent.
“He’s a little older than me, which is an advantage for me,” Jones says. “But being that he’s a vet, he’s got a lot more technique than me. I’ve got youth and strength over him but his technique game might be better than mine. He’s the most experienced fighter that I have ever faced. I’m looking forward to a good fight. It’ll be another opportunity for people to get another look at me against a good competitor.”
Go to xtremeknockout.com to get more information about Jones’ next fight.
Edwynn Jones’ Stats
Height, weight: 6-feet, 170
Fighting style: Stand up
Training center: Guerilla Combat Fitness, Austin TX