words // Brennan Hiro Williams
In a deal that had been rumored since the weeks leading up to his light-heavyweight title fight at UFC 145, Jon Jones announced today that he has signed a global sponsorship deal with Nike.
Jon Jones, the brother of NFL players Arthur and Chandler Jones, won a NJCAA national wrestling championship in 2006 before embarking on an MMA career in 2008. The 25-year-old fighter's meteoric rise through the sport led to him becoming the youngest champion in UFC history when he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. In his short career, Jones has already defeated several of the greatest light-heavyweight fighters in MMA history, including Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
Jones signed a multi-year deal with Nike, in which he will reportedly be featured in global Nike advertising campaigns and receive his own signature line. Jones joins fellow UFC champion Anderson Silva, who signed an endorsement deal with Nike Brazil in 2011, on the Swoosh roster.
The deal looks like a win-win to me, as Jones and the UFC should gain much more mainstream exposure and acceptance, while Nike now has some of the most badass athletes on the planet to wear its Pro Combat and Training gear. Jones is expected to start wearing Nike products for his upcoming title fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 151 on September 1.
If you've never seen "Bones" Jones in action, check out his UFC highlight video below.