In a new interview, we caught up with Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones ahead of his huge Welterweight Title clash with Adam Proctor.
For centuries, dragons have been written about as creatures of immense power. With fiery breath and impenetrable scales, they guard what they see as rightfully theirs. Their unquenchable thirst for wealth and treasures led to many dragon’s downfalls, but those were mere storybooks. On the 26th September, Mason Jones looks to continue his own quest for gold, unsatisfied with just one title. The welsh dragon will rise to the welterweight division when MMA returns to the UK, looking to claim one more name and a trophy to add to his collection.
“I think the fight against Adam works well for me,” said Jones.
“I’m always looking for the next big challenge and at the moment, I didn’t really see anyone around lightweight that was a fantastic fight, so rather than settle for anyone from Europe just to find me a fight I thought why not.”
After the fight week from hell with a change of venues and his opponent falling off, it looked like Mason Jones would not be able to get a fight in before the UK went into lockdown. In what would be one of the last live sporting events to go ahead for some time, Cage Warriors 113 pushed through all the barriers in its way. With it came one of the biggest match-ups of the year, a late notice vacant lightweight title fight between Mason and fellow top contender Joe McColgan. Once again, ‘The Dragon’ rose to the occasion, stopping McColgan with an inch-perfect knee in the opening round.
The Dragon roars in Manchester 🐉 #CW113
A devastating finish in round, Mason Jones is the NEW lightweight champion! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/rDRPR9LPgf
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) March 20, 2020
“Leading up to the fight was hectic, we had been questioning it because my opponent was Italian and we knew there were problems over there but we just left it in their hands. I just said no matter what happens you have to get me an opponent. If you promise me that, I’ll be cool… and they did. With everything that was going on, I was just happy to fight.”
With an undefeated record of 9-0, Mason Jones has made his way through the majority of the lightweight division on his way to becoming its champion.
“When I first signed my pro debut contract, I made a list of people I wanted to fight in Cage Warriors. It was people like Soren Bak who obviously left, (Alexander) Jacobsen who ended up getting knocked out and knocked down the rankings, (Donovan) Desmae, Joe (McColgan) and someone else but I can’t remember.
“I’ve always asked for the toughest fights, I’ve never fought someone with a losing record. I’ve had nine difficult fights, and I’m a better fighter after all of them. With this fight I think it’s just going to show my level.”
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) August 22, 2020
In the absence of a clear top contender ready to challenge Jones for his gold, his next big challenge had to be found elsewhere. Despite having no intention of moving up a weight class beforehand, an opportunity arose. Rhys McKee, who would likely be challenging for the title at welterweight in his next outing, was signed to the UFC on late notice. With McKee moving on, a spot opened up in the division and Mason was happy to oblige, asking for this fight to be made.
In his campaign to become a two-weight Cage Warriors champion – something ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor has achieved in the past – Jones must take on the division’s top contender. Adam Proctor has a record of 12-1 with his only loss coming to Aaron Khalid, a training partner of Jones. Currently on a 7-fight win streak, Proctor has made his mark on the division since beginning his second stint in Cage Warriors in 2018.
“I see myself as a very good counterbalance to Adam’s strengths. I’m a very dynamic striker and he’s a very flat-footed heavy forward mover, he doesn’t really like the exchanges and I love them.
“I just think I match him so well and I’m going to exploit so many of his weaknesses. The only reason I think they’ve taken this fight is they’re putting a lot on the weight and strength difference, and that just doesn’t bother me, as cocky as it sounds. I’m used to fighting bigger guys.”
“My future in the UFC is inevitable whether it’s now or a few years in the future. But if I can’t beat someone like Adam then why am I trying to get in the UFC? Everyone in the top 10 or 20 is going to be a credible threat. I just see Adam as a big lightweight, that’s the way I see it.”
The best fight the best.
Who’ve you got? pic.twitter.com/FweRvGFVQk
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) September 15, 2020
With the lightweight title already in his hands, Jones will be looking to not only secure another world title by his name in the history books. With the Welsh MMA revolution in full force, ‘The Dragon’ is looking to ascend past his predecessors and make his mark on European MMA.
“In my mind, there’s no way Adam’s beating me in this fight. There are no other options. I’ve knocked him out and submitted him plenty of times already in my head and that’s the way I see the fight going.
“There’s a reason I’ve asked for this fight and you’re gonna’ see it September 26th.”
Mason Jones will meet Adam Proctor for the vacant welterweight title on the 26th September at Cage Warriors: The Trilogy.
Words by Kyle Dimond.