Mason Jones: “I think he was just done and that was the excuse he needed to get out of there.”
By Jack Maher
For the fans, there aren’t many more deflating things than watching an entertaining fight fizzle out into a no-contest. For the fighter involved, there aren’t many things more frustrating.
This is the position Mason Jones found himself in, after a sure-fire victory over Alan Patrick slipped away from him after an accidental eye poke brought the curtains down in the second round.
Jones believes Patrick saw the writing on the wall and used the accidental foul to his advantage:
“Looking back, I don’t think it even went too deep into his eye to be honest, I think he just wanted a way out, I think he was just done and that was the excuse he needed to get out of there. He knew any longer and I was going to knock him out. I’d already hurt him with multiple shots. So yeah, the end was coming, he knew and he found his way out.”
What makes the events of his last fight so irritating for Jones is how good his performance had been up until the moment it was stopped.
“I felt unbelievable, I felt strong I felt fast, I felt powerful, and I really felt dangerous in there.” explained the lightweight fighter. “Warming up I felt like I was ready to put on a next level performance. I stayed controlled, I stayed measured, I hit him with big shots, I controlled the distance and the wrestling exchanges.”
Despite his grievances, the 26-year-old is treating the Patrick bout as a learning experience:
“I don’t really put much down to luck, I made a few mistakes, that affected the fight, I should have controlled the situation, and I shouldn’t have let him get back to his feet, obviously if he hadn’t got back to his feet then the eye poke wouldn’t have happened.”
Jones recognises the need to constantly improve, and his work in America with Team Alpha Male is something he credits towards his development:
“I’ve been gradually moving over more and more to Team Alpha Male, but I do want to get a bit of a moving camp. I do want to be able to take my coaches with me, and a couple of my training partners with me next time. When Covid dries up I should be in a position where my coaches could travel with me a bit more, and that would be optimal.”
Jones is technically winless in the UFC, his unfortunate no-contest was predated by a competitive loss to Mike Davis in his UFC debut, a fight he says he “Didn’t feel anything above 40%” in at the time.
Nevertheless, the future remains bright, and the Welsh fighter is hoping for a quick turnaround for his third UFC fight:
“I’ve just booked flights to California to restart camp, so September sounds good, London sounds good. Late August or maybe September I’ll be ready to go. I have spoken a little bit with my management team, but nothing is concrete.”
With Patrick calling for a rematch there’s a chance we could see the two clash again, but it’s not something Jones is getting hung up on. “I’ll do what I’m told to do.” was his response to speculation on the rematch.
Whether we see ‘The Dragon’ in London in three months’ time, or he is handed an assignment further away from home, his latest performance mixed with his desire to improve makes him good money to pick up a UFC win sooner rather than later.