“At the end of the day, I’m still the older brother, so I always want to protect him,” newly signed Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones said. “It’s one of those things where when he’s in the cage, I feel like I’m in the cage, too.’
The 26-year-old Jon (19-1) is the UFC’s current light heavyweight champion, and he’s positioned as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport in the latest USA TODAY Sports MMA rankings. On Saturday, the champ meets hard-hitting Brazilian Glover Teixeira (22-2) in the headlining bout of “UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira,” which takes place at Maryland’s Baltimore Arena and airs on pay-per-view (9 p.m. CT).
Arthur, a former Baltimore Raven who was on the team’s Super Bowl XLVII-winning roster, will return to Charm City on Saturday night, where he’ll be cageside for his brother’s fight alongside the pair’s other brother, 24-year-old New England Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones. Arthur admits it’s a stressful position, even if he does boast supreme confidence in Jon’s abilities.
“It’s nerve-racking,” Arthur admitted. “I have teammates that are there with me, but I tell them, ‘Don’t bother me.’ We’ll talk while everyone else is fighting, but when it comes to the main event, when Jon’s fighting, I have to shut down. My adrenaline is pumping like, ‘Here we go.’
“I get more of a rush just knowing he’s getting ready to fight than when I’m on the field. When I’m on the field, I can try and control the outcome. You never know what’s going to happen in the octagon.”
By most accounts, things should go favorably for Jon, who oddsmakers have installed as a 5-to-1 favorite. Teixeira does boast incredible knockout power in his strikes, but Jon thinks the variety in his own arsenal will provide him with an advantage in the cage.
“Glover’s best strength is his knockout power,” Jon said. “I respect that, but I’m also not worried about that. I’m just going to be extremely versatile, because I know it’s tough for my opponents when they don’t know what’s going on. I want to make him like a deer in headlights, all confused. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Arthur, who said he helps his brother study film of his opponents before every fight, agrees with the assessment.
The new defensive end likes how the Colts are put together for the future.
“Jon is unpredictable,” Arthur said. “You never know what he’s going to do in the cage. He can attack you from so many different angles, and that’s what has helped him do so well in the UFC.”
Despite just six years as a professional, Jon is already considered one of the best fighters in the history of the UFC. His six successful defenses of the light heavyweight title are a promotional record, and he admits his goal is to establish himself as the greatest of all time.
Arthur believes Jon is perfectly capable of reaching that status, but even with supreme confidence in his brother’s skills, Arthur knows he’ll be a mess on Saturday night. Even with the experience of winning a Super Bowl under his belt, Arthur said there is simply nothing like the feeling of wanting to protect a relative from harm, even if that kinsman is more than capable of handling himself.
“My heart is racing,” Arthur said. “I usually have a tear running down my eye when Jon walks out. My brother is my best friend. It’s just a crazy adrenaline rush, but I love the sport.”