Underground Blogger Ian Peterkin is a Graduate Assistant in the Literature/Journalism program at Western Connecticut State University, and a staff writer for TheLiverShot.net. He will graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in 2013.
Alright, You Can Hate Jon Jones, Now
F. Scott Fitzgerald once remarked, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Jon Jones is going to find that out the hard way. He started his career by stating that he wanted to be a “company man” and a “role model.” This year he has proven to be neither. He also has the dubious distinction of being the most hated man in MMA. With so many fans of the sport looking for Jones to get his comeuppance for perceived holier-than-thou hypocrisy, let’s examine why.
When Dan Henderson was forced to pull out of UFC 151 due to an MCL tear, Dana White—and presumably, Joe Silva—scrambled to find a replacement for Jon Jones. Enter one Chael Sonnen. Sonnen is coming off of a loss to Anderson Silva. With no possibility of a rubber match, Sonnen is moving up a weight class. Looking to make noise in the 205 lbs. division, he recently called out Jones. Sonnen and Jones got into a back-and-forth exchange on Twitter. Jones did not find Sonnen worthy then, and he does not find him worthy now. That’s part of the problem: Jones does not seem to find anyone worthy these days.
Rather than taking a fight with Sonnen, Jones sought the counsel of his coach, Greg Jackson. Jackson advised him against doing the fight on short notice. Of course, this only made Dana White apoplectic. White said, “Greg Jackson is a f---ing sport killer.” Putting aside the cult-of-personality who is Greg Jackson for just a moment, look at the potential fights for Jones. He was originally slated to fight a natural middleweight, Dan Henderson. His proposed replacement, Chael Sonnen is a middleweight. Lyoto Machida, the actual replacement, weighed in at 201 lbs. earlier this month for the Fox card. Guess what? That guy should also be a middleweight. Have you ever seen Jon Jones, like in person? That guy is huge. He’s a heavyweight hiding out at light heavy! All the talk about Jones being a prima donna for not wanting to fight Machida because there isn’t enough money in it shouldn’t make people upset; it’s the lack of competition for the guy that should make them angry.
The biggest losers in this whole mess are not the fans but the other fighters on the card. And to be fair, the blame can’t be put at the feet of Jon Jones. The UFC is a billion dollar franchise; if they can’t make things right for all of their fighters, then they’re bush league, and the blame rests with them.
A word of advice to Jon Jones: Don’t try to win back the fans; it’s never going to happen. You should embrace your new role as a heel, like Josh Koscheck or Michael Bisping. Poor Rashad Evans would like to have the love of the crowd. Don’t be like him. You seem to have adopted the ethos of Floyd Mayweather. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Like Floyd, you can turn the hate into dollar signs.