via fightlinker.comJust imagine a world where Matt Riddle defeated Jon Jones at anything involving Athletics. What makes this Picture even more interesting is the fact this was for the 189lb NY State Wrestling Championship in 2004. Matt Riddle is proof that Cutting Weight is not alway's an advantage, and also shows that Jon Jones is not happy taking 3rd Place and only accepts being the best. I think this is a window into the mind of Jones & his competitive attitude. Regardless if you are a Jones fan or not, you can't deny his heart & mental toughness. I realize that this picture is 10 years ago, but this was in Jon's junior year, and he came back in 2005 a different wrestler due to hard work. To Clarify, Riddle did not directly defeat Jones in this tournament. Jones lost to his rival & fellow Junior Jon Sullivan (Huntington) in the Semi finals 10-5. Riddle Ended up Pinning Sullivan in Overtime in a classic match for the Championship, but Jones got over his sad face & came back stronger his Senior year. Despite defeating Sullivan in a razor close match in an early season tournament, Sullivan was considered the favorite prior to the State Finals in 2005 due to his resume & strength advantage. Jones fixed the flaws he showed the year before to win the States in a close 2-1 decision, and showed his talent placing 4th in the Nationals in a weight class full of Future National Champs, All Americans, and Olympians. (Interesting side note...Chris Weidman won this exact same weight class 2-3 years prior.) I wanted to write this post because it shows that Jones was not always the best,and did not alway's have physical advantages over his opponents. Jones had to overcome adversity to win the JUCO National Championships as he was not the top seed & had to avenge losses. In Fact, Jones defeated future D-1 National Champ Max Askren who would be the #1 seed in the D-1 tourney while he was at Junior College and Askren was at Missouri. My point is that Jones has used losses & defeat as fuel to work harder & come back better. He may not be a guy you root for based on his personality, but what seperates him from other fighters is his Mental Toughness & Confidence. I know that wrestling is not fighting, but they have plenty in common. The picture also contains alot of irony with Riddle & of course the "face". Some fans will view this photo & see Jones as a "Baby" or "Sore Loser" etc. I view this photo as genuine & honest and for that I am appreciative. I get bored hearing fighters give PC sound bytes. If Jones & now JDS make delusional boxing comments they have earned the right to speak into the mircrophone. All I ask for is entertaining fights & this is not the Ultimate Respect Championship. If it was, then I would LOVE Uriah Hall since he sure has good sportsmanship & talent that is undeniable. Does anyone doubt that if Hall had the mind of a Jones, JDS, Matt Brown, Shogun, Hendo, Condit etc.... he would not be Championship Material? To be a Champion, Physical gifts & talent are a must, but Mental Toughness, Work Ethic, and willingness to improve matter just as much. Lots of Tall Fighters have failed.