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OWINGS MILLS - According to his UFC champion brother, Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones has the makeup to be a great mixed martial arts fighter.
Jones was a two-time state champion wrestler in high school.
His brother, Jon "Bones" Jones, is the UFC light heavyweight champion.
"Arthur was always better at wrestling than I was," Jon said Wednesday during a visit to Ravens team headquarters. "If I could understand martial arts, I believe that his psychology, I think he'd figure it out in two years time. ...
"He'd be training with Greg Jackson, who is the No. 1 martial arts coach in the world. I'd be right in his ear the whole time, encouraging and teaching him, giving him shortcuts all the time. I think what it would do to him on a psychology level to get down to 265 [pounds] again [from 315], I think he'd be just so ready for the UFC Heavyweight division for sure."
But some of the same traits that would help Jones in the UFC are assets for him in his current job as well and are part of what has helped make him into a productive defensive lineman.
"I was once a high school head football coach and their head wrestling coach, and I thought there was a lot of correlation between the two, especially up front [for linemen]," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "You play with leverage. You play with your hands. There are a lot of one-on-one battles. And you're out there on a mat and nobody is going to help you.
"I just think there is a mentality about wrestlers. I also think just the leverage issue when you're using your hands is a great advantage."
Jones, a fifth round pick in 2010, played in only two games as a rookie and was primarily a reserve in 2011, but he proved to be a viable starter about midway through last year and has gotten better.
"It's very clear that he's come into his own," Jon Jones said. "Arthur is averaging a tackle for a loss or a tackle or sack every game now. When he first started, we'd be out there watching like, 'Is he even playing right now?'
"Not only has Arthur managed to be in the game full-time, but he's becoming an impact player."
Jones had 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks during the regular season last year and another nine tackles and a sack in the playoffs.
He missed the first game of this season because of an irregular heartbeat, but has 28 tackles and four sacks in the eight games he has played in.
"He's turned into a very solid and even excellent defensive lineman in this league, and I think it is because of his work ethic," coach John Harbaugh said. "He's talented. He's quick. He's explosive. He's worked really hard in the weight room with [strength and conditioning coach] Bob Rogucki and those guys.
"He's really maximized his physical potential. He's one of the best defensive lineman now going."
Jones has also shown off some of his fighting skills.
Jones is usually one of the more easy-going and friendly players on the team, but he got into a fight with center Gino Gradkowski last year during training camp and clearly got the best of Gradkowski in that situation.
He took Gradkowski to the ground and landed four haymakers to the side of Gradkowski's helmet before he was pulled off.
Jones does mixed martial arts training with his brother during the offseason to help with football.
"I work out with [Jon] faithfully on hand fighting, wrestling [and] leverage," Jones said. "Just having good pad level is a game changer in this league. If you can learn how to use your hands and have good leverage, you can do some good things."
As far as fighting, though, Jon playfully challenged Arthur to a fight at one point Wednesday.
Arthur declined.
If they did fight, though?
"If I had room, I'd do pretty well against Art because I could stick him with a move," Jon said. "But in a small, confined area, I'd get killed without a doubt. ... If Arthur gets his hands on you, you're in trouble."
The last year or so has shown that the last part is true on the football field, too.

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