UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has fallen under harsh criticism when he steps in the Octagon. Many fans (and haters) call him a ‘dirty fighter’ for his Oblique kicks that Rampage Jackson would like to see banned, and his eye poking that is prevalent in almost every fight of his.
He spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about how he agrees that he needs to be more careful about instinctively reaching out at opponents punches.
“I never said I didn’t think it was dirty. It’s something I do instinctively. It’s something that I need to work on, and it’s something that just happens. I realize that I do it, and I realize the criticism that I get for doing it, but it’s not on purpose,” he explains, “If you watch my fights, when people get poked in the eyes, it’s usually when I extend my arm out in a reactionary way. I do put my hands on people’s foreheads to maintain distance, but to say that I’m purposely trying to poke people in the eyes, it’s just inaccurate.”
“I’m not a malicious fighter. A lot of people said I’m a dirty fighter, but I’m really not a malicious person,” he said, “I stomp everybody’s knees. It’s a tactic that I’ve been trained to do, so I’m sure I’m going to stomp him on the knee at some point. But as I said, it has nothing to do with his previous injuries, that’s just who I am and how I fight.”