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Jon Jones: “I have to train like I am the challenger in order to stay champion.”

If you think UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is cocky to the point of carelessness based on the speed of his success, you thought wrong. The 24-year old has no illusions about his own limitations as a man competing in a sport where highly-trained athletes are out to beat you in a variety of ways.

Jones’ humility was made clear in a blog entry he recently made for FoxSports promoting his upcoming bout with Rashad Evans at UFC 145, writing, “I realize I have a target on my back like all champions do, and I have to train like I am the challenger in order to stay champion.”

“I honestly feel I am working harder than any other fighter in the light heavyweight division. I am listening to my coaches, watching tapes of my opponent, and working very hard,” the 15-1 Jones continued. “You’ve seen it in other sports, when a young guy comes on the scene and does well, people get excited and start writing and saying ‘This guy can’t be beat.’ There’s a lot of hype about me right now; some media experts are saying I am unbeatable, but I know it’s not true. I wouldn’t bust my tail so hard in the gym if I was unbeatable.”

The ever-impressive Jones will defend his title against Evans on April 21, offering some closure on their yearlong feud resulting in Evans’ departure from Greg Jackson’s gym in 2011.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

MMATraining Take: I don’t know if Jones is working harder than any of his peers but I don’t doubt he’s putting in major time on a regular basis. He’s constantly in great shape and seems to always put a few new techniques on display when he takes to the cage.

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