You already recognize some of names and faces from the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but there’s a lot you probably still don’t know about this group of 16 heavyweight warriors. Each weekday between now and the Sept. 16 premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights,” FIGHT! will introduce two cast members leading up to the introduction of our TUF bloggers.
Weight: 260 lbs
Hometown: Jacksonville, NC
Trains: Tampa, FL with Gracie Tampa
MMA Record: 4-1
A product of North Carolina, Marcus Jones enters The Ultimate Fighter house with an impressive athletic pedigree. A three-sport star at Southwest Onslow High School, Jones earned several accolades including Gatorade All-American for football, All-Conference for basketball and was a two-time state champ in discus.
Jones elected to stay in state and enrolled at the University of North Carolina where he became a standout defensive end for the Tar Heels. An elite pass rusher, Jones was a four-time letterman, an All-American and the 1995 ACC Defensive Player of the Year during his UNC career.
In 1996, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose Jones with the 22nd pick in the NFL draft. During his eight seasons he totaled 24 career sacks, including 13 during the 2000 season, placing him eighth in the league. After six seasons with the Bucs, Jones moved over to the Buffalo Bills where injuries forced him out of the league.
A life-long fan of mixed martial arts, Jones turned to the sport following retirement and began training with the renowned team Gracie Tampa and “The Ultimate Fighter” alums Brandon Sene, Shame Primm and Matt Arroyo. A natural athlete with powerful hands, the 35-year-old Jones is looking to improve his overall game while in the house. Check out this Cage Potato Q&A to learn more about how exactly Jones got into MMA.