Jon Jones Says He Doesn’t Always “See Eye to Eye” with UFC
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones admits to some disagreements with the UFC when it comes to marketing him as a fighter; but he is the first to say that everything works out fine.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones may be the UFC’s most marketable male fighter who is actively competing.
On the one hand, with notable fighters like Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre both taking time away from the sport – Silva to recover from a broken leg and GSP for personal reasons – Jones is one of the more recognizable faces of the UFC next to women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Yet Jones has managed to keep a fairly low profile since his last bout with Alexander Gustafsson last September. At the end of his most recent media tour, Jones answered questions about the UFC’s marketing for his upcoming title defense against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in April.
“We don’t always see eye to eye with the UFC,” Jones said, “so I don’t know if they are always necessarily pushing me and whether that’s a smart idea on their end or not, who knows? I do know that they are pushing Ronda Rousey really hard, and she’s gotten a lot of great opportunities. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m pushing myself all the time so, I’m not really worried.
“I know that I’m a lot different from some of the guys from the past. Guys like Chuck Liddell, and guys like Matt Hughes that would just get up and do anything, anytime, and never voice their opinion. I’m trying to change a lot of things in the game. Making sure the fighters are being respected, making sure our own brands are being respected, things like that. We just don’t always see eye to eye on everything, either way it works out.”
But for Jones, who begins camp next week at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, NM, his top priority for the next few months is not the UFC’s marketing decisions, but preparing to face Glover Teixeira.
“He can always learn a new move,” Jones said in a brutally honest assessment of his opopnent’s abilities, “but at his age, at this point in his career, mind you I’m just starting, I’m just five years into the game. I just started learning how to fight five years ago; Glover’s been doing this since I was in high school. So, if he was meant to be amazing and great at this, he would have already been there, and I believe in this.”
Jones would go on to explain that he does not mean to disrespect the challenger and that he will take Teixeira seriously as an opponent. Teixeira is, after all, riding a 20-fight winning streak that last saw the Brazilian defeat Ryan Bader with a first-round TKO.
And while his focus and energy will be almost entirely upon training for Teixeira, Jones did admit that he’s excited to be headlining the UFC’s first card in the state of Maryland.
“When I found out that it had never been done before,” he said, “I was like, that’s kind of cool. Then it’s like, your brother’s (Arthur) a Baltimore Raven, so that’s kind of cool. Then it’s close to New York state too so people can drive and support you, that’s kind of cool. It just seemed like a no brainer.”
(Quotes from Bloody Elbow)