Following the last-minute withdrawal of URCC champion Mark Striegl (18-2) just days before UFC Fight Night: Munhoz vs. Edgar, the UFC couldn’t have found a better last-minute replacement to face Russia’s Timur Valiev (16-2) than Trevin Jones (12-6).
Jones, 30, has spent a significant portion of his career fighting on the Guam regional scene, facing fighters who would go on to compete for Rizin, Bellator, and the UFC.
Among others, “5 Star” holds victories over 45-fight Japanese Takafumi Otsuka (27-17-1), Pancrase veteran Kyle Aguon (13-9), Bellator veteran Jeremiah Labiano (12-7), and Contender Series alumnus Toby Misech (11-7).
Jones is a quick, well-rounded martial artist. He throws hard low kicks to both the inside and outside of his opponents’ lead leg, and mixes his punches, going to the head and body very well in equal measure.
Jones’ record reflects his diversified attack. Submitting his penultimate opponent in the first round in Russia’s ACA, Jones showed he is just as dangerous on the mat as he is on the feet.
Jones has good footwork and subtly makes sure his foot is on the outside of his opponents’ foot as he is looking for punching combinations. He also cuts an angle as he is moving away from his opponent.
“5 Star” has a good sprawl and can spring up to his feet when taken down, though he did struggle on the mat on the first round against Otsuka in the pair’s May 2019 showing. Having his back taken and was controlled, this could be an issue if this hole is not filled in Jones’ game.
Despite the positional setback, Jones managed to reverse a later takedown and secure a rear-naked choke submission over Otsuka, demonstrating that he has the ability to make adjustments, even when threatened in the fight. Jones also managed to do a show off a nice hand trap against Otsuka, which he used successfully in the fight.
Likewise, Jones demonstrated good wrestling offense in a 2018 split-decision loss against Brazil’s Rodrigo Praia (15-3), thwarting some of the ACA fighter’s submission attempts. Losing a close decision, against solid prospect in the ACA cage, is nothing to be ashamed of.
MMA fans should be excited to see this prospect get his opportunity in the UFC, as Jones has earned the shot given all his experience in title fights in the regional scene.