UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones spends a lot of time on twitter. These days, it takes a lot of guts for him to do so.
When would be-challenger Dan Henderson pulled out of his scheduled UFC 151 engagement with the champ and Jones turned down a short-notice replacement fight with Chael Sonnen, Jones was thrown under the bus by UFC President Dana White and fighters and fans alike joined in on the hate-a-thon, bashing Jones in interviews and on twitter. Jones has been all over the map since then.
First, he sequestered himself away with no comments, then he was defensive. Eventually he was apologetic. Last night he jokingly set on blaming Henderson on Twitter for their not fighting last night as he had planned.
When a fan tweeted Saturday that thanks to Jones, “he had no plans tonight,” Jones retorted with a Hemingway reference. “Thanks to the old man and his knee I don’t either,” Jones replied.
See what he did there? If I hadn’t recently spent an hour and a half in a Barnes and Noble reading “The Old Man And The Sea,” without buying it afterwards, I might not have. Thankfully I did, and was ready for Jones’ great tweet. Fate.
On its face, the tweet just seems like another in a growing series of public relations gaffes for Jones. However, Jones seems to be disproportionately punished for honesty that, in other athletes, we find refreshing and endearing.
Jones might have too little of a filter, be too good, too young and too black, all at the same time. Or perhaps he just doesn’t have enough history and goodwill with fans yet to get away with that stuff.
I for one, have always smiled when I’ve heard Henderson mock an opponent, brag on himself or promise to beat the crap out of someone. Jones doing the same seems to rub me the wrong way off the bat. What’s up with that?
In any case, back to Jones blaming Henderson. It may seem ridiculous at first.
After all, no one is questioning the legitimacy of Henderson’s MCL injury. There is no reason that he should have felt compelled to fight through that.
But if he had, he wouldn’t have been the first. Chuck Liddell beat Tito Ortiz with a torn ACL and we didn’t find out about the injury until afterwards.
No one made Henderson wait a few weeks to tell the UFC about his injury, either. When he did, there was little time for them to find a logical replacement.
When Jones decided not to fight Sonnen on a week’s notice, the UFC had no other good options, in part because they hadn’t do their due diligence in checking with all their superstars who might have been willing to step in and save the event and decided to shut down their otherwise weak (in terms of marketability) event. The situation stunk.
Looks like Jones is no longer happy taking all of the blame for it. What do you say, ‘taters?
Do you want to see Jones offer a mea culpa (one in which he doesn’t compare himself to a crucified Messiah), or do you want to see him continue to embrace his villain role?
If he goes the villain route, who else could he insult on twitter to get there?