Now UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones wants to fight a Klitschko brother. Yeah, right. Jones wouldn’t last three minutes with Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. Jones wouldn’t last three minutes with any boxer, much less two former heavyweight champions of the world.
Jones seems to have made an art out of dismissing his opponents. He says his opponent Saturday night at UFC 165, Alexander Gustafsson, “has holes,” and that Daniel Cormier “doesn’t deserve a title shot and that Glover Teixiera isn’t ready.”
And people wonder why Jones isn’t the super-popular king of the sport.
Jones is an outstanding mixed martial artist, but the biggest problem he faces is not inside the cage; it’s everything he does and says before he steps into the cage. It’s fine for him to be an arrogant professional athlete. There’s lots of them. He needs to understand though that he’s not Floyd Mayweather Jr.
MMA is still a growing sport. MMA fans get it; they know what it’s all about. They appreciate how amazing it is for Jones to choke out Lyoto Machida with a standing choke. But as part of being an emerging sport, as one of its best stars, Jones needs to do a better job of promoting the sport, and that includes giving his opponents the respect they deserve.
When Jones fights it should be a Mike Tyson-like weekend. Here’s Jones, 26, undefeated, pretty much has run through the light heavyweight division, yet he talks about his opponents like they somehow snuck through the back door to get a chance to come to his party. Jones sounds petty, dismissive and unsportsmanlike by suggesting his opponents don’t belong inside the same cage with him.
As far as the Klitschko brothers go, in an MMA fight, Jones wins. In a boxing match, Jones is out, on his back. Quickly.
It would be good for the sport if Jones could embrace his opponents and the others around him. Someone as great and talented as he is should be carrying the sport, not trashing those who dare to compete in it.