Dec. 1, 2011 - Las Vegas, Nev. - UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones, the youngest champion in UFC history, has been named the Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year at the 2011 Fighters Only World MMA Awards. Winners are determined by fan voting.
“I am honored that the fans would vote me Fighter of the Year,” Jones said. “I have worked very hard to get to this point in my career, and for to give me this award amongst the other great fighters in this category is very humbling.”
“We are seeing a special fighter develop before our very eyes,” added Jones’ agent at First Round Management, Malki Kawa. “I am grateful that the fans recognized him given his three wins already this year with another title defense in December, less than three months after his last fight.”
Jones has won all three of his fights so far in 2011. On Feb. 5 at UFC 126, the 24 year-old Endicott, N.Y. native defeated Ryan Bader by submission in a win that would ultimately earn him a title fight. Just six weeks later at UFC 128, Jones earned the Light Heavyweight belt by dominating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with a third-round TKO/KO. At UFC 135 on Sept. 24, Jones capped off his first title defense with a submission victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. It was the first time Jackson had ever been submitted in his legendary UFC career.
Jones is scheduled to fighter Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 on Dec. 10. A victory would give Jones three title wins in one year, and also three wins over former UFC champions in one year, which has yet to happen in the UFC. Rua and Jackson were also previous title holders.
In his career, Jones holds a 14-1 record, with eight wins coming via TKO/KO and another four by submission. Last year, he was named the Breakthrough Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards. He trains at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. and is coached by Greg Jackson, who was named Coach of the Year.
First Round Management client Diego “The Dream” Sanchez was also nominated in the category of Fight of the Year for his March 3 unanimous decision win over Martin Kampmann.
This is the fourth year of the Fighters Only World MMA Awards, which were held at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The top fighters, fights, coaches, media members and more are honored in 22 different categories decided by fan voting. The Fighters Only World MMA Awards are the only major awards ceremony highlighting the best from the sport of mixed martial arts.