(“Okay, new plan. We change our names, cross the border into Mexico, and open a bar on a nice beach somewhere. Nobody ever has to know about what happened here. Twenty years from now, we’ll be laughing about it.”)
If you’re one of the last remaining Jon Jones supporters on Earth, it must seem that we’re just piling on at this point — like we wake up every morning searching for new ways to drag down the UFC light-heavyweight champ and steal his swag. But honestly, this stuff finds us. And as much as I’d rather spend my time on more relevant MMA coverage, I just can’t let this one go. Here’s an unbelievable detail from a new Wrestling Observer article, passed along by BloodyElbow:
Jones was very upset after Chael began calling him out and mocking him on Twitter, going as far as to contact [UFC president Dana] White and ask him to tell Chael to stop.
Let’s just state the obvious, here — this is the kind of thing a child would do. And it’s the last thing Jones needs at a moment when many MMA fans already view him as a coward for the way he wouldn’t accept a fight against Sonnen on short notice. (Once again, Chael’s ability to get inside a rival’s head is astounding, and he just picked up a boatload of new ammunition for their inevitable fight. And yes, Jones vs. Sonnen will happen someday. Dana dislikes Jones too much and loves money too much for it not to happen.)
Meanwhile on the UG, Joe Rogan made a post trying to put the recent Jon Jones hate-orgy into perspective:
Everyone was SUPER pissed at Anderson after the Maia fight, and even DFW said he would cut Anderson if he fought that way again. Look at what time has healed. After the spectacular Vitor KO, the Chael Sonnen comback triangle and the complete dismantling of Chael in the rematch, no one ever talks about Abu Dhabi and the Maia fight anymore. If Jon Jones can stay on track, keep being the amazing fighter that he’s shown himself to be inside the octagon in EVERY single fight he’s ever had, and continue to improve at the staggering rate that he’s shown so far, in 2 fights no one will talk about this cancelled fight. The man is young, and he’s made a mistake or two, but he’s still got all the potential to go down in history as an all time great, if not THE all time great.
I’m not going to argue with that last statement; we’ve already discussed how the public conception of a fighter tends to change after a generation. But comparing Anderson to Jones in this situation misses the point. We can forgive Anderson for having a couple terrible fights because he wasn’t acting a fool outside of the cage. Meanwhile, Jones just can’t get out of his own way. His performances in the Octagon have all been brilliant, but after a persona-busting DUI, an event-busting decision not to fight, ill-advised Jesus comparisons, and now this report of him asking his boss to tell Chael Sonnen to quit making fun of him, his character has been sullied in a way that might be irrevocable.
Theoretically, Jon Jones’s legacy can be saved if he stops making decisions that make him look like a villain. The question is, can he stop?