DAVIDSONVILLE – Immortalized in a locker room video that went viral of him wrestling against veteran nose guard and former prep heavyweight champion Kelly Gregg, Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones vows he won’t be bullied again.
Jones locked up with Gregg for nearly a minute before Gregg slammed him to the ground, much to the approval of Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis and a raucous crowd of teammates. A former New York state heavyweight wrestling champion, Jones appeared to be getting tired before Gregg collapsed him under his body weight.
The video was kept confidential in NFL circles until Ravens running back Ray Rice decided to leak it on Twitter.
"We had a little Twitter battle and I got under his skin a little bit and Ray spread it and I forgot he had 100,000 followers," Jones told the Times last week. "I slipped. People that know wrestling know I went for the big throw. It wasn’t a wrestling mat, so I didn’t want to injure him.
"He’s really old. I owe him a little revenge. That video spread like a virus. It’s a good time, though."
After a quiet rookie season where he appeared in two games and generated no statistics, Jones spent the summer doing mixed martial arts training with his brother, MMA light heavyweight champion star Jon "Bones" Jones. He also worked out with Gregg at Ground Control in Owings Mills.
"I’ve been doing a lot of cross-training, mixed martial arts, a lot of different things," Jones said. "I trained with my brother for his last fight. After that last fight, Kelly and I worked out together and did a lot of jujitsu."
And the results are noticeable. Last year’s fifth-round draft pick from Syracuse has transformed his body and is much leaner after absorbing a few jokes from teammates last season.
Jones said he still weighs 315 pounds, but it’s a much different 315 pounds with a much lower body-fat percentage.
"I’m excited to see what my body fat is," Jones said. "I definitely leaned up and I changed my diet a lot. I met with a nutritionist and I’m eating healthier now."
Jones hopes to join the defensive line rotation this year after suiting up for games last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints, but being deactivated in the playoffs.
At Syracuse, he recorded 145 career tackles, 38 1/2 tackles for losses, 6 1/2 sacks and four fumble recoveries. And the Ravens drafted him 157th overall last year.
Now, the former All-Big East Conference selection and team captain is looking forward to getting back on the field whenever the NFL lockout ends.
"Oh yeah, definitely, I think you need football to get in shape," Jones said. "No matter how great of shape you are in, you need that contact. I’ve been pushing my body and seeing how far I can push myself. I’m excited to perform this year. I’m starting to get that itch. It’s been a while."