As the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion, 26 year old Jon ‘Bones’ Jones holds the dual honour of being the organisation’s youngest ever champion as well as arguably being the most well-known face of mixed martial arts. Jones’ ascension to the top of the sport has brought with it some top-level sponsorship deals, most notably with Gatorade and Nike. Last year Nike gave the young athlete his first signature Free Trainer 5.0 trainer in a suitably tough murdered-out colourway. For Spring 2014 ‘Bones’ once again gets a signature Nike Free Trainer 5.0, this time in an eye-catching black and red colourway. The Jon Bones Jones Nike Free Trainer 5.0 will release on nike.com on 29th March 2014.
Featuring "Team Jones" on the tongue, the special edition shoe features Jones’ signature black and red colours in a fade, as well as a black reflective Swoosh Design. There are also two, limited edition Nike Jon Jones T-shirts available as the shoe launches. I’ve covered MMA’s relationship with major sports brands and streetwear on the blog before (check it out HERE). While I welcome Nike’s latest effort, I can’t help but feel impatient as I wait to see just how much Nike are willing to commit to the sport. Are we going to see a full mixed martial arts range of clothing and footwear from Nike? Or are we gonna see the existing Pro Combat range developed further to aid fighters both inside and outside of the octagon? I know I’m definitely excited for what the future holds, both for the growth of mixed martial arts worldwide and its expanding relationship with some of the major sportswear players out there.