In 2012 Jon Jones was being filmed by Mark Bader of Flowrestling when he uttered:
197 pounds future Midlands champ, holla at ya boy
Well Mr. Jones, now you've defended your UFC Light Heavyweight Title six consecutive times, setting a record after defeating Alexander Gustafson tonight in one hell of a war. You have defeated five men who have held that belt in the UFC. You are ranked as the #1 pound for pound fighter on the planet right now. You have continued to prove yourself time and time again in the cage and in the realm of athletics. You were supremely challenged tonight, but I'm challenging you to do something larger.
You are a man who rides the line of cockiness and confidence, enough so that you have created a "John Cena" like following with those that worship your technique and masterful ability, while others criticize you for being falsely humble and arrogant. I'd like to see you put your money where your mouth is though and give us fans a true taste of how great and confident you are. I'm challenging you to enter the 2013 Midlands at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University.
It is a fitting time to do it. You just defended your title in late September. The official college wrestling season is only a few weeks away and you'll have the same amount of time to prepare yourself for what you said you would and could do. The Midlands is an open tournament, but I'm sure you already knew that. I even work very closely with two people who won it post-collegiately (Ben Wissel: 2006, Jake Patacsil: 2011), so if you need the advice, holla at ya boy.
You hold a win over a former NCAA National Champion, Max Askren, who is still competing and hoping to make a world/olympic team. You outwrestled Chael Sonnen, an olympic team alternate and University World silver medalist. You had a takedown defense rate of 100% in the cage and 62% takedown percentage coming into tonight, and only surrendered your first takedown in the cage tonight. We know you can wrestle, but how about you come prove that you can put your money where your mouth is.
I get that you're a confident man and believe in your abilities, but we as fans want to see you put to a new test. You have only had one one true war in the cage (Gustafson) and have run over some of the best mixed martial artists in the world. You have dominated a division once hailed as the most stacked division in mixed martial arts. Come see if you can do it on the mat still. We wanna see someone make Jon Jones work. We want to see Jon Jones pushed to the level he was tonight.
Entering would not only be a test for you, but a great way to give back to a sport I know you love. With wrestling nearly being cut from the olympics, and no longer being a core olympic sport, wouldn't it be a great statement for you to enter a historically prestigious tournament to give some exceptional, yet forgotten, athletes some exposure. Imagine what you would be doing for the sport by coming back and trying to win something you never had the chance to win. You still have a chance to win a wrestling title you dreamed of winning. You wouldn't have said what you did if it didn't still linger inside of you.
I challenge you to enter the Midlands in 2013. Prove that you can beat us, if you can.