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Jones Didn’t Appreciate Reports He Turned Down Lil Nog Fight … Even Though He Totally Would Have

(Go ahead, write untruths about this man. See what happens …)

Almost by definition, the media conference calls that fight companies stage before major events are pretty tedious affairs. On rare occasions, the stars align and they can turn into total shitshows where something interesting actually happens, but usually you just end up sitting on the phone for 45 minutes while different writers ask the same questions over and over and the athletes repeatedly mumble the same prepared responses.

Unfortunately, last week’s reporter cattle call for Sunday’s UFC Live on Versus event was no different. In fact, it was perhaps even more monotonous after first being interrupted by a fire alarm at the conference center (seriously) and then when Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko spent the whole time trying to out nice-guy each other. The only halfway illuminating or unexpected exchange occurred nearly 35 minutes in, when a reporter from Fox Twin Cities-Minneapolis asked Jones about reports a couple months back that he had balked at the chance to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114.

For just a moment, Jones’ seemingly unflappable media savvy appeared to slip a bit. No, Jones said, he never even got offered a fight with Lil Nog after Forrest Griffin had to pull out with an injury. And no, Jones didn’t appreciate the initial report from Yahoo! Sports that said he did, which later spread to a bevy of other websites with its typical bacterial speediness. He didn’t appreciate it so much, in fact, that he sought out the writer to ask him face-to-face exactly why he’d do him like that.

Here’s Jones’ response to the question during the call:

“That whole thing was completely false. I actually sat down and had a meeting with the reporter who made that statement and I asked him, I said ‘I’m young in my career and I really don’t think it’s right that you did this to me. You put a stain on my character.’ No one sees what I do day-to-day, besides my family and friends and for someone to make an article saying that I hadn’t been training and that I didn’t felt like I wouldn’t be ready in time, that was not true at all. I never got offered a fight with Lil Nog and if I had got offered a fight with Lil Nog, I probably would’ve said no because I want to have a very smart training camp. I’m not going to take a fight against anyone – it could’ve been a UFC newcomer – without fully preparing.

“I said several times before that a big part of my game is that I study so much and I really know what I’m getting into when I step inside the Octagon. It had nothing to do with me not training, but I never even got offered the fight. No one called me or anything. It goes from me training and being with my family to people calling me a ducker and a dodger. It bothered me, that’s why I took it to the point of actually sitting down with the reporter and asking him why would he do that? Why would he make up something that was completely false?”

It was an odd and awkward moment from a guy who has no choice but to spend his nearly every waking hour claiming he doesn’t buy into his own hype. As it turns out, Jones actually does take a keen interest into how the media portrays him, how fans view him and what his reputation is like in the industry. Can’t fault him for that, but it also makes it seem a little less credible when Jones repeatedly says he doesn’t pay attention to the continually growing snowball of publicity that surrounds him.

It should be noted that the reporter, Yahoo’s Kevin Iole – even though Jones never mentioned his name during the call – doesn’t cite any sources in the brief one paragraph where he addresses this issue of the UFC finding a replacement for Griffin in his recurring mailbag column. As one of the UFC’s preferred scribes, it’s largely assumed that Iole gets most of his scoops from the company itself. It remains unclear, however, where and how this particular information came his way.

Hey, if you’re Jon Jones and this story is untrue, more power to you for trying to get to the bottom of how the rumor got started. And the truth is, the hype that has been built around Jones’ MMA career essentially puts him in a no-win situation when it comes to the media. Clearly, he competes in a sport where self-confidence and self-assuredness are prerequisites for success, yet he continually has to answer and re-answer the same line of questions about keeping a level head, staying humble and managing expectations. But to admit on the conference call that you were totally pissed that the MMA media reported you turned down a fight … and then to admit in the same breath that you would’ve turned down the fight, if only you had gotten the chance? That’s a little weird. And to track the writer down for a one-on-one meeting to ask him why he wrote this stuff about you? That’s not going to get you anywhere.

Unless he screws it up somehow, Jones is on his way to being a very, very big star in MMA. A lot of people are going to write a lot of things about him and the sad truth is, some of those things will probably be untrue. You can’t track them all down and have it out with them. It’s best if Jones can make peace with that right now.

Cagepotato Comments

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David_Banner- August 1, 2010 at 5:14 am
I'm reading this article thinking "What in the FUCK are you talking about??!!" Why is it so unreasonable to think Jones would have been pissed that that gossiping little girl aka sack of shit Kevn Areola making up stories?

How is it a contradiction that Jones wouldnt have taken the Nog fight because he likes to be prepared vs getting pissed off that a shitbag invented a story about him? Ever stop to think that perhaps the UFC knows Jones won't jump into fights so its a non-issue, which added to Jones being perplexed that Kevin ran a story about him dodging fights.

On a side not, ever wonder why Jones is still fighting partial contenders even when for the past two years he has CRUSHED everyone put in front of him? Its because he won't take fights on short notice and apparently that pisses the UFC off. So why not smear him a little and use that tool Kevin to ruffle his feathers a bit.
stopdrinkingpee- July 31, 2010 at 11:13 pm
Mr. Jones, I'm excited for your fight, but please stop commenting on this article. It takes a pretty fucking reasonable position.

Anyone bashing this piece who is not Jon Jones or one of his relatives should ask Forrest Griffin to leg-kick him. Or better yet, Josh Barnett to nut-punt him.
Nealio- July 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Jake Shields is so boring......

...he made the stupid jumping monkeys fall asleep
dranokills- July 31, 2010 at 8:21 pm
LAS Says:
Sat, 07/31/2010 - 21:48

I have no idea where the stream of shit editorials has come from of late on this site, but add this one to the growing pile. How anyone could defend Kevin Iole for anything, least of all propagating an unsubstantiated rumor, is beyond me.

And Drano, you probably are the only one who dislikes Jones, because you sound like a dumb fucking redneck. "A jumping ass...I find his style to be irritating and stupid." I will give you credit enough for being smart enough to avoid using the term "monkey" to describe him, but you've probably seen enough Rashad haters thrown under the bus already for that one.
#1 go fuck yourself, and write an editorial before we give a fuck about your opinion.
#2 go eat a bag of dicks if you don't like me, did I fucking ask you for your input? put a sock in your vagina and shut up bitch.
I think YOU are stupid jumping monkey, hows that fuckwit?

danomite- July 31, 2010 at 7:21 pm
I don't see why everybody is bashing MikeRuss for this article, it's about as down the middle as you can get. He said Kevin Iole shouldn't be writing shit as fact when it's not and says he commends Jones for trying to clear his name while also wondering why a guy who says he doesn't pay attention to articles about himself is tracking down guys who write bogus articles about him.

Oh, and from now on whenever we're talking about "the Rug" can we spell his name Jake Shieldzzzzzzzzzz....instead of Jake Shields. It's more fun that way.

edit: forgot it was the weekend. not mikeRuss's article. everybody was hating on it so I assumed they were all just taking out their anger caused by OldDad's abandonment out on newDad.
fatbellyfrank- July 31, 2010 at 6:13 pm
So, looks like we've all agreed, there must be a Jake Shieldzzzzzzzzzz comment on every article from here on in.
waddaya say team, if a thread gets to 10 comments without a Jake Shieldzzzzzzz ref, someone just take the bit between their teeth and snap one out there.

And, Jake Shields is so boring, he's made my mind go blank
ghostboner- July 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm
@liquidplumber ends lives & Rexico - I am with ya. Think Jones is kind of full of crap. I could be wrong, but the way he got up in Vera's face at weigh ins was like Diego part 2. He just kind of bugs me. And snitches, well we know what happens to them.

@DanielValentimes - I live in an RV down by the lake. But I have my mail delivered to my brother's house.

Also, Jake Shields is so boring that when he visits his grandpappy's retirement home, they bump dinner from 3:30 up to 1 o clock and make bedtime 6 o clock sharp.

fatbellyfrank- July 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm
^ just to clarify, will they have to be like Jones 3:16 says I just whooped your ass?
I might do a t-shirt,
Almost North- July 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm
Whats the over-under on the number of events it takes before Jon Jones fans begin bringing bible verse notation on cardboard signs like WWE?
fatbellyfrank- July 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm
@ Almost, LOL dude, Hey Danny, I could rent you some space in our shed, now your, you know, homeless and shit
Almost North- July 31, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I live with your mom.

We both decided its time for you to move out.
fatbellyfrank- July 31, 2010 at 4:13 pm
@ dannyV, I live with my wife and three daughters.....and two dogs.......and two cockatiels
fatbellyfrank- July 31, 2010 at 4:12 pm
I like Jones, I think hes gotta hell of a future, and there was a bit of shit spinning around the interwebs at the time blasting him for being unprofessional, not being ready for a fight at the drop of a hat, why hasn't he been training Bla Bla Bla, seems like he's got a smart camp, who realise he's raw as fuck but has huge potential. I say let him develop, seems to be going well so far, and Jones, get used to it dude, the MMA media are gonna be very interested in you

Jake Shieldzzzzzzzz fights are now being shown to all serious violent offenders to cure them of aggresive tendencies. 100% success rate so far, they'll agree to anything to not have to sit through another Shieldzzzzzzzz fight.
2DaDeath- July 31, 2010 at 3:01 pm
Wow, Rex. You just went all capslockhal on Bones, lol!
iDestroy- July 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I live with my sister.
Ballkick- July 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm
Jake ShieldZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........
ReX13- July 31, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Fuck a bones jones. Ratting out kids at college--thinking he's doing the "right" thing-- and his jesus freak act work my nerves. Fuck this kid. I don't think the janitor will mop the floor with him, but i hope he does.
dannyvalentine- July 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm
getting in on that band wagon, man you guys are far more fickle than jake shields trying to decide how not to finish a fight. you love bones now(ha) but if by some odd act of God he loses on sunday you will all be the same ones whining about how overrated he was. Sheesh, it's a filler article, not actual you need to know news. If you can't handle an opinion piece than go over to BE, I hear they love the overly sensitive sand in your vagina types over there. People these days, fuck. Get over your own self righteous nature, dicks, I wonder how many of you leave angry comments or complain about current events that actual affect us. Do any of you NOT live with your mothers?
Almost North- July 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm
Turns out 62 percent of CP posters are Jon Jones. He clearly has a lot of free time.
LAS- July 31, 2010 at 11:48 am
I have no idea where the stream of shit editorials has come from of late on this site, but add this one to the growing pile. How anyone could defend Kevin Iole for anything, least of all propagating an unsubstantiated rumor, is beyond me.

And Drano, you probably are the only one who dislikes Jones, because you sound like a dumb fucking redneck. "A jumping ass...I find his style to be irritating and stupid." I will give you credit enough for being smart enough to avoid using the term "monkey" to describe him, but you've probably seen enough Rashad haters thrown under the bus already for that one.
itsgalf- July 31, 2010 at 11:35 am
yeah there's backlash. People can see through shitty logic
dranokills- July 31, 2010 at 11:23 am
I guess I am the only one who dislikes Jones. Until he shows me a fight where he is control, and doesn't act like a jumping ass, I will say he is a raw talent with no control, all he knows is balls out he has zero plan just go get em. I find his style to be irritating and stupid.
RwilsonR- July 31, 2010 at 11:17 am
Jon Jones is so exciting... that I would even watch him fight against Jake Shields.
jgrant- July 31, 2010 at 10:37 am
Iole clearly just assumed Jones turned the fight down because all the message boards were buzzing with Jones not taking the fight so he figured that he officially turned it down and all the fans were talking about it. Good for Jones saying something about it.
steampunk22- July 31, 2010 at 10:30 am
Quite the backlash to this post lol

I wonder.....