Cardinals’ Chandler Jones trains MMA, gets nervous for brother’s fights
If you were at the Arizona Cardinals Red & White Practice at the end of July, you might have noticed linebacker Chandler Jones sprinting off the field shortly after it concluded.
That wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, except that the Cardinals all participated in an autograph session on the field for the fans immediately following the training camp event.
No, Jones wasn’t trying to avoid handing out his signature. He was hurrying to get to his brother’s professional fight.
Chandler’s brother is none other than Jon “Bones” Jones, the longtime MMA and UFC fighter. That night, Jon was set for a highly anticipated matchup against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.
At least, it was a highly anticipated fight for the fans. For Chandler, it was an anxious time.
“Truly I get more nervous for his fights than my own football games. They’re nerve-racking. I mean I can’t really eat,” Chandler told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station Tuesday. “That fight I couldn’t eat, I was up, I had the jitters until he knocked the guy out.”
Several of Chandler’s teammates took to Twitter to offer their support using the hashtag #TeamJones. It turns out Chandler had nothing to worry about though. His brother knocked out Cormier to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight title.
“It didn’t mean as much as it did for our family than it did for him. Jon, he really wanted his belt back and I feel like he felt a bit empty without it,” Chandler said. “For him to have the opportunity to go out there and showcase his ability and to show people that, ‘Hey, there was no ring rust. I’m still good. Hey, I know that I made some mistakes but hey, never say never. It’s never too late.’ So I’m happy for him and hopefully he keeps going and hopefully be the greatest ever.”
Chandler said he does mixed martial arts training during the offseason, and has said before that he’d like to square off against his brother for charity.
However, it doesn’t look like we’ll all get treated with the sibling matchup anytime soon, if going off comments the Cardinals linebacker made two years ago.
Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this story.