UFC lightweight hopeful Mason Jones is looking for a first round finish when he returns to the octagon tomorrow night after a torrid start to his career in the promotion.
Jones, from Blaenavon in Wales, arrived to the UFC an unbeaten two-division Cage Warriors world champion, but has been terribly unlucky to not pick up a win in his first two octagon bouts.
He was narrowly beaten out in a fight of the night with Mike Davis on his debut in January, before dominating Alan Patrick in June.
But the fight with Patrick was ruled a no contest when an accidental eye poke caused the match to be stopped, meaning he missed out on a key victory on the back of his first loss.
And he was supposed to rematch Patrick on tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night, but the Brazilian pulled out on late notice, leading to a hastily made match-up with the unbeaten prospect David Onama.
“I’m annoyed, because Alan never had any intentions of fighting me,” Jones theorised while speaking to Mirror Fighting .
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he didn’t see himself with another option when he was given my name – if he turned it down I could see them cutting him.
“So he did what he thought was best which is to pull out injured on ten days notice, stay training and then in a week or two look to get a new fight when he’s cleared.
“I’m annoyed because he tried to sabotage my career twice, I don’t think the eye poke was as bad as he made it out to be, he just looked for a way out.”
However, Jones doesn’t make excuses for missing out on a win in his first two appearances on the big show, admitting that both results were through his own faults.
He’ll face an interesting test this weekend in Ugandan prospect Onama, who has as many losses as he has top tier tests on his 8-0 record.
“He’ll be done by two,” Jones continued. “I want to get him out in the first, but I’m not going to take unnecessary risks.
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“He’s tough, but I don’t think he can bing the full force that I can – I don’t gas, I can go for all fifteen minutes and I’m pretty much a walking furnace.
“I’m the type of person who walks through the flames just to stay warm, so I’m hoping for a war which hopefully David can bring because otherwise it’s going to be a one-sided onslaught.”
The fight is expected to come a little too early for the James Krause-trained Onama, but Jones does feel that he will be given another chance in the UFC, and can forge a path for himself in the future.
“He’s not somebody to overlook,” Jones said of his late-notice opponent. “He’s a prospect, definitely.
“But after I beat him, he can always look to rebuild and I think he can find a place in the UFC, he’s good, just not good enough to deal with my level.
“I think I’m at that top 10 level and will be good enough to win that belt and I can’t wait to show how much I’ve improved from my last fight which was a landslide performance.”
Jones also expects to be joined in the promotion by former world title opponent Joe McColgan and the returning Rhys McKee, who are some of the top fighters in the British and Irish scene.
“Rhys McKee is one guy who deserves to be in the UFC,” he continued. “And I think Joe is the same.
“I fought him for the title, and him getting to the UFC will add to my legacy as well so I wish him and everyone I fought well and hope he makes it here.”
Watch Mason Jones vs David Onama during UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: COSTA vs. VETTORI on Saturday October 23, at a UK prime-time slot on BT Sport 2 from 7pm. Prelims are live on UFC Fight Pass from 6pm.Internet Explorer Channel Network