(Talk of “disrespect” and “walking the walk” begins about the four-minute mark. Vid: MMA Fighting)
So, when confronted with the fact that Jon Jones has apparently been tagging his signature with the phrase “UFC Champion, 2011” during autograph signings and public appearances leading up to UFC 128, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – who is still the champ, remember – seemed none too pleased. Unfortunately, Rua has never been known as a particularly fiery orator (and was speaking through an interpreter, anyway) so when asked for comment by Ariel Helwani on Thursday, he ended up saying some corny ’80s shit that sounded like he was aiming for “don’t let your mouth write checks your ass can’t cash,” but didn’t quite get there.
Unfortunately, things only got more banal from there: Hearing of Shogun’s criticism, Jones essentially played dumb, acting like he couldn’t possibly understand why signing his name as the future UFC champion would piss off the current UFC champion and the man he’s supposed to fight this weekend. Point of fact, Jones said it’s Shogun who’s been disrespectful headed into this fight, not him. Then Jones said some bullshit about “The Law of Attraction” that actually made us slump back in our office chair and sigh, “C’mon son.”
All the silliness that’s fit to print is after the jump …
First, the champion, who actually has a point here that Jones identifying himself as a UFC titlist is, at best, premature …
“I think that his demeanor is ridiculous, actually, because you can’t really go signing as a champion without really being the champion,” Rua said. “I think that’s disrespectful, but each and everyone has their own personalities so everyone has to – how do you say – walk the walk and talk the talk. He has to stand by his actions and pay his bills. I really don’t like his behavior, but now he has to back up the talk.”
See, we just wish Rua (or maybe his interpreter) was a little more artful in wielding his words. Anytime you utilize the phrase “I don’t like his behavior” you end up sounding more like a high school guidance counselor than a lean, mean ass-kicking machine. Course, Shogun is conducting this interview sort of bilingually, so we gotta give him props for that. Jones, on the other hand, does not have the excuse of a language barrier to fall back on.
“I have no clue what he’s talking about,” the phenom responded when told of Shogun’s words. “I don’t think I did anything that was disrespectful, I don’t think I said anything that was disrespectful. I mean, I find some of the things he says about me actually to be disrespectful, between his brother making comments that I have no punching power, how his manager says he’s going to kick my A-S-S – what else? – how I have chicken legs and how he’s going to kick them repeatedly. It’s OK with me. If I’m in his head, that’s even better.”
Seriously Jon, just say “ass.” Spelling out your swears doesn’t play so well with the 18-35 year-old male demographic the UFC is trying so hard to market you to. Aside from that, our best advice would be to keep the hokum and faux, pop culture “spirituality” to yourself, too. Unfortunately, Jones does not heed that advice here, explaining that the reason he signs his name with “Champion, 2011” after it has to do with some crap that he probably read in “The Secret.”
“I believe in the law of attraction,” Jones said. “I believe you can speak things into existence. When you know where you’re going and you know what you want, the universe has a way of stepping aside for you. Me signing my signature with ‘Champion, 2011’ on it? It can’t hurt me. It can only help me to believe it even more.”
Yeah … well … sure, but … that’s just not true. Maybe when you’re a 23-year-old superhuman who is about to fight in a UFC PPV main event for the light heavyweight title it seems like you can “speak things into existence” … but … really … you can’t. The only real “secret” here is that some lady named Rhonda Byrne really, really wanted to make a ton of money by writing a book, so she wrote a book telling people they could get what they really, really want simply by really, really wanting it enough. There’s a logic puzzle in that somewhere, but it makes our brain hurt too much to think about it.
Anyway, UFC 128 is tomorrow night. Now, run speak that into existence, homeboy.
(Editor’s Note: As we’ve been writing this post we’ve been concentrating *really* hard on Brittney Palmer being in our kitchen cooking us a bacon, cheese and green onion omelet as a late breakfast. C’mon universe, would it be so hard to do this *one* thing for us … )