By Zach Arnold | December 16, 2011
This is not a new charge from the Sherdog personality. However, he certainly stepped up the theory since Jones won big over Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in Toronto and did the ESPN ‘car wash’ of interviews/TV shows on Tuesday.
Take it away, Jordan:
“The way and the specific dudes that Jones took out in the fashion in which he did it in is ridiculous and I think this is easily the best year we’ve seen in Mixed Martial Arts. It’s not just that he dominated a bunch of guys that are on the list of all-time great Light Heavyweights to begin with, it’s the fact that he beat Shogun so horrifically that if there was a rematch you would have a feeling in your gut that Shogun could die in the cage. He forced Quinton Jackson to raise the white flag in a way that we just really hadn’t seen Quinton Jackson do. Normally, if you’re going to stomp Quinton Jackson you better beat the ever-loving hell out of this guy and leave him laid out bleeding out of his face on the ropes. And then against Lyoto Machida someone who his lone real incident of serious adversity was getting cracked by Shogun, someone who concede has some freaky sort of power, Jones then dropped Lyoto and then dropped him again like a sack of potatoes after choking him unconscious. So, I think it’s probably the most impressive three fight span that I can think of in Mixed Martial Arts to go along with probably the most impressive year… and by probably the most impressive year, I mean quite certainly the most impressively year I’ve ever seen in MMA.
“So, I think if you’re looking for someone to beat Jon Jones, acting like some guy’s going to pull out this great game plan over 25 minutes? I don’t know. I’m more interested in a guy that, even if he might go down in a flaming car wreck of a disaster, might actually have the offensive power to put him away. Dan Henderson can sucker guys into an exchange, he can land really heavy powerful punches, maybe he lands the one big right overhand that does it. I think he’s got a better chance than Rashad Evans who always takes his time, is measured, is a stocky, compact guy. I think Rashad Evans is going to get ripped up against Jon Jones because he’s a slow starter and Jon Jones can just come forward and go-go-go. But Dan Henderson, maybe he can get a right hand in there, maybe he can make that kind of thing work. If he doesn’t, he’s going to be in a world of hurt and I think it’s going to turn into an epic beatdown. But I think that’s the kind of dynamic you look for. I’m still interested in seeing if a guy like King Mo or Phil Davis could put Jon Jones on his back and see what happens from there. But… as far as guys at the top of the division that might actually be challenging soon, Henderson is a guy who piques my interest because even if he has the chance of just getting assaulted in lopsided fashion, I do think he’s the one guy that kind of maybe land that one big kind of haymaker that might put Jon Jones down on queer street and possibly be finished. Because I don’t see another guy that has a great chance of setting it up.”
Dan Henderson is the best remaining opponent for Jon Jones? I guess we shouldn’t care about the Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis fight then in Chicago?
“I did MMA Nation with Luke Thomas on Sunday night and he said that the two people, that when he posts videos or radio segments about, that there’s the most vitriolic feedback: Amir Khan and Jon Jones. And, oh my God, is it any questions that they’re both part of races that polarize people on different sides of the Atlantic? No way! The thing that I find amusing is… race isn’t everything but it’s not nothing. I find it amazing that I still get e-mails from people and, to be fair, I think if Jon Jones was white I still think he would polarize people but I don’t think so many people would react so intensely as they do and found and rationalize their hate in the way they do if he was white. And the same thing for Amir Khan. If Amir Khan was white… Amir Khan is… he’s even more of an innocuous personality. I mean, he gets a lot of the same sort of criticism for being sort like fake or inauthentic but ultimately… if he was white and not brown, would people feel that way on either side of the Atlantic? I’m not so sure, you know. So, I think there are guys that they wouldn’t be ultimately the most popular dudes in the world if they were white, they would still polarize people, I think, but I don’t think there would be the intensity, the magnitude of the venom that goes with it because some of the e-mails and tweets I get about Jon Jones at this point in time, you’d think this guy was some kind of genocidal dictator not just a fighter in the UFC.
“Seriously, like… why? And this is the thing, I’m not saying, ‘oh, Jon Jones, a great dude’… like I said and I have said for a long time, Jon Jones is, you know, not… he is not every bit the son of the Preacher man he attempts to be. He is, in that way, not a genuine personality and, yet, he’s an incredible, incredible fighter who is not responsible for all of the evils in the world, who did not do a terrible thing by breaking when John McCarthy said break and let Machida fall to the canvas, who is not some kind of demonic entity. It’s totally OK to dislike Jon Jones but… as I said on Twitter, if this guy announces his entire purse was going to go to cancer research, people would ask why he hates AIDS victims. It’s crazy.”
Jordan then had a caller on his show lay out some non-racial reasons as to why MMA fans hate Jon Jones so much:
“Two other reasons besides just race as to why he’s hated, this is me being objective looking at it from both sides. Something I saw posted on a Sherdog forum, he said like Jon is like, we all know you’re cocky, so why don’t you just come out and be the cocky champion and we’ll love you for it. And I kind of understand it, I kind of feel like, yeah, he tries so hard to put this image on and, you know, I really don’t think it’s him. I think the other thing is, the last point why I think so many fans hate him so much, most MMA fans especially internet fans are people who aren’t really into sports too much, right, they’re not into like football or basketball or baseball, you know, MMA was like *their* sport and, to them, it was like something they could see themselves doing and I think with Jon Jones they see an athletic and explosive, there goes that term again, athletic and explosive athlete who probably could have started at receiver in the NFL or played, you know, the 3 spot in the NBA just come in to the UFC and basically just dominate, you know, their sport and I think they almost see it as like the future and they don’t like that and I think that really has to do with like a lot of hate for this guy to come out of nowhere and basically destroy all heir PRIDE heroes and you know how much they love PRIDE and all that and basically makes it to the point now where you don’t even want to see a rematch (because) he’s beating people so bad. I mean, now, I’m hearing stuff like on these boards now they’re saying that he should be a heavyweight? Like, c’mon, he walks around at 220…”
Which lead to this response:
“One of the major charges led against him is this idea that he’s not an authentic personality, that he’s someone that tries to act like this wholesome Christian well-manicured sort of dude and really he’s about as rowdy and bawdy as any 24 year old who might be the baddest dude on the entire planet. That’s absolutely insane. In fact, it’s crazy that Jon Jones just isn’t absolutely wild as a person because if I woke up tomorrow and not only was the UFC Light Heavyweight champion but I realized I had the ability to essentially destroy almost any dude I get my hands on, I might go mental. So, it’s crazy that he’s not even at that point. But secondarily, I think, that’s another point, too, that’s come up. It almost seems like early on people were thrilled at how many exciting things Jon Jones could do but he’s made so many great fighters look ordinary now it almost seems like defeating the purpose of having fights, it almost seems unfair. And I think with this, one of the heard ideas you’ve heard more and more recently, ‘oh, go fight Heavyweights!’ I have a news flash for you, by the way — if you don’t to see Jon Jones do crazy stuff and embarrass guys, you don’t want him to fight at Heavyweight.”
If people hate Jon Jones, they’re certainly willing to pay to watch him if you believe the initial PPV buy rate estimates from Dave Meltzer (in the upper 400,000s, near 500,000). Running out of potential opponents in the future could be a problem, for sure… so I’m guessing a fight against Anderson Silva might be desirable at this point.