FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (January 24, 2019)
Bill “Jonesi” Jones has seen and done it all during a decorated mixed martial arts (MMA) career that spans back more than a decade. On February 1st, he’ll look to add another noteworthy accomplishment to his deep fight resume when he faces highly touted, undefeated prospect Josh “Hook-On” Harvey for the New England Fights (NEF) professional Featherweight Championship in the main event at “NEF 37: SUB ZERO” in Bangor, Maine. Jones recently discussed his storied record and his upcoming championship bout with Ryan Jarrell and Bryan Stackpole on the Between Rounds Radio podcast.
Jones made his MMA debut in September 2007. Over the course of more than 20-bouts, he fought and defeated a who’s-who of New England’s top-tier combat sports athletes, including multiple opponents that went on to compete in the world’s largest promotions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Professional Fighters League (formally known as WSOF), and Bellator. Jones holds wins over UFC veterans Matt Bessette and Tateki Matsuda. It’s this experience against high-level competition that Jones believes will give him an edge over Harvey on February 1st.
“I’ve won fights and I’ve lost fights in the Northeast, but a good portion of my fights were top contenders at 155 or 145,” Jones told Jarrell and Stackpole. “Harvey’s never really fought—other than his last fight that he fought to a decision and he didn’t really show anything in—he’s never fought anybody to the caliber of the guys that I’ve fought. So, I feel really good about that going into this fight.”
“I’m going to bust ass and smash through this guy,” Jones added.
Bill made his highly anticipated debut with NEF in April 2018, finishing Matt Denning in the second round via technical knockout.
“Beating Denning pretty decisively the way I did—it felt good to get back in the win column, but it still doesn’t show me,” Jones said. “I feel like I should have beat him in the first round, not the second round.”
The win set-up Jones for a title match showdown with Aaron Lacey for the vacant professional featherweight championship in November 2018, but the bout was scrapped when Lacey sustained an injury that forced him to withdraw.
“When he backed out, I was super, extremely disappointed,” Jones explained. “I was extremely disappointed… Lacey’s more of a 145-pound fighter. Harvey, if he makes weight at 145, he is going to have a really rough night because it’s just going to be a lot of weight for him to cut. After the first round, if he makes it out of it, it’s going to wear on him.”
“In my brain, I knew he [Lacey] wasn’t going to make it out of the first round with me—it was a win,” Jones continued. “It was just one of those fights where you knew, you walked in there, and you walked out victorious. I know it’s a tougher fight with Harvey, but in my mind, it’s the same fight.”
With Lacey currently on the sidelines, Lacey’s teammate, fast rising Josh “Hook-On” Harvey, agreed to step in and put his 5-0-1 record on the line against Jones in the feature fight for NEF’s 2019 return to Bangor.
“Every fight that I’ve watched him [Harvey] fight, it seems like he comes out and tries to stand with them, but then as soon as they start throwing back, I feel like he gets nervous and shoots,” Jones said. “So, he flashes off like he’s a standup fighter, but then as soon as they start to attack, he instantly shoots. So that, in my mind, makes me feel like he’s a pretty boy that doesn’t want to get hurt. He doesn’t want to get hit.”
“I feel like he’s going to crumble under the pace that I put on him. I’m a more of an attack, in-your-face fighter and I feel like he’s going to fold under that.”
When “Jonesi” and Hook-On” face-off on February 1st, it will be in the heart of winter in Maine, hence the title of the aptly named event, “Sub Zero.” Unlike many combat athletes that try to avoid cutting weight over the long holiday season, Jones, who works full-time during the day as a roofing foreman supervising a crew of 12 laborers, prefers competing during the winter months.
“Wintertime is always a good time for me to train,” Jones explained to Jarrell and Stackpole. “I get out of work fairly early in the wintertime. We work dark-to-dark in the summer, so I don’t get home until 6, 7, 8 o’clock—so it’s hard to make it to the gym. So winter time is a real good training schedule for me.”
Jones, who normally walks around at 155-pounds despite the admission that he normally “eats out of gas stations” when he’s not in fight camp, predicts no problems whatsoever in terms of making the championship scratch weight limit of 145-pounds. When asked, however, on whether he thinks his opponent will make the weight, he couldn’t express the same confidence.
“I have trouble seeing Harvey making weight for the fight,” Jones said. “I’m going to fight him either way, whatever weight he walks in at. But, I believe that Lacey is really the one that is in line for it. I mean, Harvey hasn’t made weight for a fight at 45 in awhile. The fight he just had with Joe-Joe [Gianetti] that he just kind-of held on to the whole time, he missed weight by four or five pounds…. He’s going to have a tough time making that weight.”
Regardless of the weight, Jones is unwavering in his belief that he has the tools to put the first loss on Harvey’s record. Harvey, not known for losing frequently in any combat sport, was also a multiple-time state champion wrestler.
“I think he’s going to try to wrestle me,” Jones said. “I think he’s going to try to take me down and win by wearing me out… If he lets it stay standing, I’ll probably knock him out in the first round.”
Having kicked a 25-year smoking habit a few years ago, Jones feels revitalized and better than ever and ready for the challenge in front of him on February 1st.
“I really want to win that belt,” he said. “I’m 40-years old. Life moves on and I don’t know how many more years I got to push into the sport, but it’s a good time for me.
“I don’t look at it as a job like everybody else, or something that I dream to do,” Jones explained. “I love to fight. I love the atmosphere of it, I love the competition of it.
“I want to end my career on a high note.”
NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 37: SUB ZERO,” will take place on Friday, February 1, 2019 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine with a bell time of 8 pm. Tickets are on-sale now at www.CrossInsuranceCenter.com.
About New England Fights
New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.