Patriots' Chandler Jones to train MMA during offseason with his brother, UFC champ Jon "Bones" Jones
Chandler Jones tries on his brother's UFC belt
New England Patriots defensive rookie Chandler Jones appeared on Felger and Mazz on Wednesday to discuss his first year in the NFL (see video above). When asked about his offseason training plans, Chandler revealed that he planned to do some cross training in MMA with his brother, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.
Chandler will head to Albuquerque, NM to work out with his brother at Greg Jackson's gym, known for training MMA stars such as UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, former WEC champions Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone, and many more elite fighters.
How will training MMA help Chandler on the football field? Chandler detailed that he wanted to improve his upper body strength this off-season and work on his hand speed:
"That definitely helps you," Jones said. "[Jon] has a boxing coach, a Muay Thai coach and a Jiu-Jitsu
coach. That helps a lot when you're tugging, playing in the
trenches. My biggest thing is I try to get my hands inside before blockers
touch me so if I work on my hand speed, that'll be a great aspect to add
to my game."
Not to mention that his brother Jon was a decorated wrestler -- a high-school state champion in New York and a junior college national champ for Iowa Central Community College -- and training wrestling takedowns can translate into defensive tackles. Chandler wrestled a bit himself as a child, but took interest in football and basketball in high school while his brothers went on to become wrestling state champs.
While I look forward to hearing of Chandler's off-season MMA training, I also hope that he gives his ankles time to heal and doesn't re-injure them should he move onto some MMA sparring as opposed to just pad work and drills.