Current UFC interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones won the interim title over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 convincingly. However, after going five rounds with Saint Preux, who came in on short notice, many were quick to criticize Jones’ performance in the Octagon and wondered if he could have beaten the champion Daniel Cormier on that night.
Jones spoke with FOX Sports on his performance against Saint Preux, which was his first fight in the Octagon in over a year.
“To a mixed martial artist, to a trained eye, that fight was masterful in some ways,” Jones told FOX Sports. “Did I get a big knockout and get drunk people off their seats? No, but did I hit and not be hit? Yes. I’ve fought many different martial artists and as a martial artist myself, I look at it as being masterful. I fought with no agenda. I wasn’t trying to be entertaining. I wasn’t trying to finish the fight necessarily. I was just out there fighting. I was just out there enjoying my art and I’m really happy with the performance.”
With Jones’ masterful performances and a high finishing rate, when “Bones” wasn’t able to put Saint Preux away in their fight, many people felt there was something wrong with him.
“To elaborate a little bit, you watch Luke (Rockhold) try to go out there and be impressive, showboating and doing all this (expletive) and he gets caught by Michael Bisping. Everything that he’s worked for is over. You watch Fabricio Werdum go out there making faces before the fight, rushing in against (Stipe) Miocic, trying to entertain a huge Brazilian crowd and he gets caught and everything’s over. You watch Anderson Silva fight the way he fights and ultimately ends up losing the fight.”
Jones then went on to make a comparison of fighting smart like undefeated boxing great Floyd Mayweather versus going out and trying to please the crowd.
“When you fight the way I fought, the way my last fight was, and you come out on top it’s like how much does entertaining really matter?” Jones said. “It’s like Floyd Mayweather, goes out there and fights smart and becomes one of the greatest boxers of all time and makes a ton of money.”
“What’s more important — being entertaining or being a winner?” Jones wondered. “Most people don’t like to hear this, but I think being a winner is clearly more important.”
Video | Daniel Cormier
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