As flawless as UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has looked inside the Octagon, he’s looked just as imperfect outside of it. There’s his unchecked arrogance, his ”You never have to worry about me with a DWI or doing something crazy” comment just weeks before his DUI arrest and his brutal honesty about potential opponents. Basically, Jon Jones does everything in his power outside of the cage to make it hard for most fans to celebrate his in-sport accomplishments.
Which is why most of you won’t be too surprised to learn that just two weeks before his Light-Heavyweight title defense against the legendary Dan Henderson at UFC 151, Jones delivered some pretty harsh words for his next opponent, Lyoto Machida. In an interview with ESPN.com, Jones stated that “The Dragon” doesn’t deserve a rematch with him, not so much because he isn’t a competent fighter, but because Machida won’t get the fans to buy pay-per-views. In his own words:
“I don’t want to fight Lyoto Machida. He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida. I don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward. He’s a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight.
Between (Mauricio) Shogun (Rua), (Quinton) Rampage (Jackson) and Rashad (Evans), Lyoto was my lowest draw. Why would I want to fight someone where it’s a lose-lose situation? I won’t make money on it. And he’s a tricky fighter.”
In a strange way, Jones’ comments are refreshing and, dare I say, admirable. Even when most of us are rolling our eyes at the notion of spending money on a fight, we still expect the fighters involved to deliver pre-packaged, blatantly false statements about how excited they are for it. At the very least, Jones is actually being honest with us about how he feels about fighting Lyoto Machida a second time. Especially considering a highly marketable, very personal fight against Chael Sonnen may be on the horizon.
That being said…ARE YOU FOR SERIOUSLY, BRO?!
The guy who is bringing in global Nike sponsorship money is worried that he won’t make any money on a rematch with Lyoto Machida? The same guy who, up until his highly anticipated clash against Rashad Evans, was a weak PPV draw himself for the UFC? The same guy who also won’t fight Anderson Silva because losing is bad for business? Cash rules everything around me, indeed.
When asked whether or not he will agree to fight Machida if he makes it past Dan Henderson, Jon Jones doesn’t exactly get some fans with his reply:
“I don’t even know. I don’t know how to answer that right now.”
Look, no one is accusing you of ducking a rematch against Machida. But when you talk about how you don’t want to fight him because he’s “a tricky fighter” who won’t get the fans to buy PPVs, and then tell a reporter that you don’t even know whether or not you’ll agree to the fight that your boss has already promised fans, then let’s just say that the first sentence of this paragraph is more than likely obsolete by now.
Interestingly enough, the article on ESPN.com ends on this note:
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to be talking about fighting anybody but Dan Henderson,” Jones said. “I’m clearly focused on Dan Henderson. I’m not overlooking Dan.”