Rite of Passage 6 - Hunter "Big Dude" Jones
At Rite of Passage 5, Hunter Jones (2-0) finished Corris Grant to take the AKA amateur heavyweight title. Stopping his opponent in two minutes and forty seconds, Jones showed that he isn’t a fighter to trifle with. At Rite of Passage 6, Jones is already set to defend his title against one of Louisiana’s top amateur heavyweights, Joshua Metzger (5-1).
Hailing from Gilbert, LA, Jones was recently living in Baton Rouge where he was furthering his training at TWebb MMA. He recently moved back to Gilbert, but still makes the journey to Baton Rouge when possible. Having just turned twenty-three last week, Jones is still finding his feet in the sport of MMA, but his interest in the sport has been long founded.
“As a kid, I watched Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz at my uncle’s house. I looked at my dad and thought I could do that. We would put gloves on in the yard and fight. No-one knocked me out and I’d drop people. I started training with a friend in high school, and he’s still my coach. Gilbert is a little place, but I have a few guys to train with me.”
As well as competing in MMA, Jones has also competed in boxing.
“I have two amateur boxing fights, and won both. One was a sixteen-second knockout and the other went the three rounds. My two MMA fights were both first round knock outs. I walk at 230-245 lb and plan to drop to 205 lb eventually. Fighting at heavyweight, I haven’t had to cut weight, but am at the lighter end of the division. I bulked up for the last fight, lifting weights. I’ve leaned down and have been working on my cardio. When I do drop down, I’ll do it as an amateur; have a couple of test cuts with some sparring the next day.”
Jones is familiar with his opponent, Joshua Metzger, but doesn’t know much about him.
“In my first fight, which was for FFC, I was due to fight Doug Franklin, who Metzger beat. I’m not that tall for a heavyweight at 5’ 10”. Joshua is really tall and a lot longer than me. I feel I can eat a few punches and he won’t be able to deal with me on the inside, I’ll be too much to handle. I have respect for anyone who will stand in there with another guy. I have respect for him for sure, and am looking forward to this.”
Metzger in fact stands at 6’ 5” tall, some seven inches taller than Jones, but Jones is confident in his abilities to neutralize the taller man. Jones’ nickname “Big Dude” is a name that has a long history.
“When I was young my grandpa stuck me with the nickname of dude. As I was growing up I was big, and my friends added big. In high school I played fullback in football. I was a good football and baseball player. I had college scouts for football looking at me and scouts for baseball as well. I was young and dumb and wanted to work, so I passed it up. I had started training in high school, but wasn’t interested in fighting. I wanted to compete in Jiu Jitsu tournaments. A friend told me that once I had a fight and got the feeling of it, I wouldn’t want to stop. He was right. My friends and family are a lot of the reason I’ve done this.”
As well as training, Jones keeps busy.
“I teach boxing, kickboxing and a Jiu Jitsu class. I have a farm at home so there are cows, ducks, chickens, geese and stuff. I have a niece and nephew and family keep me constantly busy. If we aren’t cow chasing, we’re chicken feeding or child chasing and moving hay. The work itself is cardio. We have a bunch of roads and backroads and I run those. My cardio is what I’m working on the most.
“In my first few fights I went in there not knowing how to control myself and I’d blow everything. I like to put on a show.
“I’d like to thank my sponsor MMA and Boxing Apparel. Also my friends and family and of course God, who puts me in the position to compete and do the things that I do.”