UFC 182 was supposed to be Myles Jury’s coming out party. He was 15-0 and taking on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at the UFC’s big New Year’s event. At the conclusion of the co-main event, Jury’s record stood at 15-1, his first defeat after a unanimous 30-27 decision at the hands of the #4 lightweight fighter in the world.
Big time athletes have God given talents, talents that separate them from the rest. Barry Bonds, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Anderson Silva are all, at one time, the absolute best in the world at their respective professions. If they missed the game-winning shot, or hit the game-winning home run, these students of the game continued to look for ways to improve and take their game to the next level.
When Myles Jury graduated from The Ultimate Fighter into the UFC he had big dreams.
He wanted to climb the ranks of the lightweight division and one day hopefully become UFC champion. Thus far during his career, Jury has remained undefeated while taking out several top names including Diego Sanchez, Michael Johnson and Takanori Gomi.
He also dreamt about financial freedom, which is a luxury many fighters seemingly cannot afford. Fighter pay is a subject that comes up quite often, especially for competitors in a similar situation as Jury.
He’s only fought on a pay-per-view main card once in his career and his only co-main event slot prior to this weekend’s fight against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone took place overseas for a show that aired on UFC Fight Pass, the promotion’s digital streaming service. Jury hasn’t been in main events or title fights just yet, but money is one thing you’ll never hear this lightweight fighter complain about.
Jury has been meticulous with every dollar he’s made since coming to the UFC four years ago and now he sits in an enviable position as he gears up for what he expects to be the prime of his career. Starting with his bout at UFC 182, Jury will likely pull in his largest paydays to date and as it turns out it’s just icing on the cake.
LAS VEGAS — In the basement of the Ultimate Fighting Championship office on Sahara Avenue is a gym. It is filled to overflowing with weights and mirrors, but there is also a boxing ring, speed bags and other various fight gear.
The gym is ostensibly designed for employee use, but what you’ll often find in the gym are fighters who come to town for media engagements and need a place to work out.
The basement is where I find Myles Jury, a UFC lightweight tasked with the biggest opportunity of his career when he faces the popular Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC 182 this weekend. Jury has just finished an intensive workout. He is bright red, and he is sweating everywhere. He asks if he can have a few minutes to take a shower before our scheduled appointment, and I tell him yes, this is a good idea.
One of the quieter contenders to emerge in 2014 was Myles Jury — an undefeated lightweight who does most of his talking in the Octagon. Heading into UFC 182, Jury is on the cusp of inserting himself into The Conversation. Should he beat the perennial contender Donald Cerrone, one of the most prolific ass-kickers in the game, he’ll no longer be just a blip on the radar. Should he beat Cerrone, Jury will have fully arrived.
Consider his resume. The man who has a nickname of “Fury” (because it rhymes with Jury, see) has stacked a neat row of casualties through six fights in the UFC, including victories over Michael Johnson, Diego Sanchez and, most recently, “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi. At 26 years old, Jury is still getting better.
But Cerrone is his toughest fight to date. “Cowboy” is the gauge. “Cowboy” is the showdown at high noon. When Jury meets him at UFC 182 on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas, the verdict will come back — either Jury will join the crème de la crème in 2015, or he’ll be brushing himself off after his first loss.
Conventional wisdom has it that Myles Jury (15-0) will be in the biggest fight of his life Jan. 3 at UFC 182 against Donald Cerrone (25-6). The undefeated lightweight certainly sees “Cowboy” as a huge challenge, but tells FOX Sports that he isn’t fazed after beating the likes of former world champ Takanori Gomi and former world title challenger Diego Sanchez.
“On paper, this might be the biggest fight for me, but I feel like, from a fighter’s perspective, this is just another fight,” Jury said recently.
“This is just another 15 minutes of putting in work, another time I have to make weight. Anything else, saying that Cerrone is the biggest fight, and that this is my chance, or whatever, is just added perceived pressure. I’m really focusing on what I have control of, and that’s another fight of hard work.”
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
That quote is attributed to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
What would “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone think if he knew that his upcoming opponent, Myles Jury, spent a couple of summers staring down the aforementioned lions and tigers and bears?
“I worked for two summers at the Detroit Zoo. I worked in the warehouse. I would get to work in the morning and load up either a golf cart or a U-Haul truck with food and stock the concession stands,” said Jury.
Along the way, he would pass by all of the animals in their habitats. Forget the Wizard of Oz reference. There was not a cowardly lion in the bunch.
A career in prize fighting is one where the total sum of wins, dollars earned and recognition gained typically dictates how successful a fighter’s time spent in the realm of combat sports is viewed. Much like its peers, mixed martial arts is a rigorous trade where very few things are given out freely, as every victory or rung on the ladder climbed is earned on a high-risk tilt.
It’s not referred to as the “hurt business” for nothing, and at the end of the day, it’s the business side of things that can cast different shades of gray.
Given the nature and conditions of such a hectic environment, personal progress and the quest for growth on all fronts can easily get lost in the shuffle or pushed to the background, but Myles Jury has never let such things fall out of scope. The surging young talent has continued to push for further development, and in the process, he has crafted a versatile and well-rounded skill set.
Myles “Fury” Jury, the guy that not many fighters have been able to figure out.
The 26-year-old Michigan native boasts a 15-0 record as a professional mixed martial artist—a metric that inflates to 21-0 if you include his amateur bouts.
Casual fans, first met Jury on the UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter.
After dropping out of The Ultimate Fighter 13 with a knee injury, Jury returned for Season 15 after winning to get in this house. After 13 grueling weeks on the reality show, Jury was placed on the Finale in Las Vegas on June 1, 2012, where he defeated Chris Saunders via guillotine choke. His official UFC career rocketed from there.
After five more victories in a row, Jury earned a shot at his toughest test to date: No. 4-ranked lightweight and fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.