(This story appears in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, a USA TODAY sister property.)

After modeling down vests that “fight the chill” of fall for GQ magazine, Jon Jones took part in a photo shoot more suited to his tastes last week.

The Union-Endicott High School graduate and UFC light-heavyweight champion traded vests for his ring gear on Friday to shoot the cover of EA Sports UFC, a new video game that will be available next spring for Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

“I would say this (the EA) shoot was a lot more fun, a little more down my alley,” Jones said during a phone interview Friday while on a break from the shoot in New York City. “GQ had me in all types of clothes I would never wear and had me doing all types of goofy things.

“(Here) I had to do 1,000 flying knees, a 1,000 elbows and 1,000 punches — but I needed the workout and it was fun.”

Electronic Arts announced Monday that Jones would be one of two fighters to grace the cover of its inaugural UFC game. Fans will vote among 16 fighters to decide the other cover spot. The honor is special for Jones, who is an avid video gamer.

“It’s been surreal; sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure everything’s real,” Jones said. “Being a 26-year-old video game player, to have the opportunity to be on the cover of this game and to know millions of young guys around the world will be playing this game and having me on the cover of their game, it’s a huge honor.”

EA Sports is the leader when it comes to sports video games with top-selling franchises such as the Madden NFL football series. It released EA Sports MMA in 2010 to favorable reviews, but this is the first MMA game under the UFC banner.

Jones, who said he enjoys Madden and the Fight Night boxing games, said he has not had a chance to play an early version of the game but was impressed by recent footage. An exact release date has not yet been announced.

“This game is the closest thing you can get; (‘It’s in the game’) is the perfect slogan because you really feel like you’re in the fight,” said Jones, referring to EA Sports’ catchphrase. “You see muscles restricting, you see bruises occurring, hair moving and flowing through the wind, the facial expressions … I can say this game is the most realistic game in all of gaming.”

While being selected to be on the cover of a video game is akin to making the cover of a Wheaties box, it has also brought a decline in production to many cover athletes — most famously with the so-called “Madden Curse” in the NFL series.

But Jones does not give too much thought to that.

“Before I won the (light-heavyweight) belt, it had been passed around,” Jones said. “All the champions would lose the belt in their first title defense, and I was the first one to keep the belt in a long time. Before my last fight, Anderson Silva had lost and other champions had gone down, everyone said ‘Oh Jon, what if you’re next?’ I refuse to give in to those superstitions.”

Jones, who will defend his title against Glover Teixeira sometime next year, said he is fully healed from a brutal five-round clash with Alexander Gustafsson in September. The Swedish challenger pushed Jones more than any other fighter in the UFC before Jones won via unanimous decision.

“I feel great and I’m so glad to be past that fight,” said Jones, who will begin training next week for his fight with Teixeira. “A huge mark in my career to break the (most UFC title defenses) record; such a war, and I’m grateful for the experience.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Stop us if you've heard this one: UFC 208's Ian McCall loses an opponent – again

  • 29 days ago
  • 13 views

Ian McCall’s UFC comeback seems to get more and more depressing with each attempt.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 29 days ago
  • 56 views

Following Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver, several of the winning and losing fighters took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 208: Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie Extended Video Preview | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 27 views

UFC 208 sees the inaugural women's featherweight title fight between former bantamweight champ Holly Holm and dangerous striker Germaine de Randamie. read news >>

Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson headlines UFC Fight Night 107 in London

  • 29 days ago
  • 16 views

With less than two months until the event, UFC Fight Night 107 finally has a headliner. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Dana White Recaps UFC on FOX 23: Not a Fan of Cerrone Going Back-to-Back | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 349 views

UFC president Dana White recapped an exciting UFC on FOX 23, where several title contenders emerged. read news >>

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 96.5 – UFC on FOX 23 wrap-up featuring Dana White, Valentina Shevchenko, Jorge Ma

  • 29 days ago
  • 5 views

Episode No. 96.5 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast, which includes a UFC on FOX 23 wrap-up featuring Dana White, Valentina Shevchenko, Jorge Masvidal and Francis Ngannou, is now availab read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Weighs In on Ronda Rousey's UFC Struggles (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 62 views

UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk weighs in on the struggles of former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. read news >>

No ceremonial weigh-ins, but fans invited to Thursday's UFC Fight Night 104 open workouts

  • 29 days ago
  • 10 views

Fight fans can get an up-close look at this week’s UFC Fight Night 104 competitors on Thursday at open workouts.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston

  • 29 days ago
  • 13 views

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 104 event in Houston.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

After UFC-debut win, 'TUF 24' semifinalist Alexandre Pantoja ready for top-10 opponent like Benavidez

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

DENVER – After getting the split-call nod over “TUF 24” castmate Eric Shelton at UFC on FOX 23, Alexandre Pantoja said his experience has earned him a “good and experienced” opponent like, say, forme read news >>