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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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UFC message discipline problems: Ronda Rousey vs. Jon Jones

By Zach Arnold | April 14, 2013

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Here’s the infamous interview Ronda Rousey did with Jim Rome for his Showtime program. In this clip, she’s touting the fact that she has as much sex as possible before fights.

JIM ROME: “Some boxers abstain from sex for up to six weeks before the fight. What is your philosophy on this?”

RONDA ROUSEY: “Um, on the guys or the girls?”

JIM ROME: “Both.”

RONDA ROUSEY: “Um, I mean for girls it raises your testosterone so I try to have as much sex as possible before a fight, actually. Not like with everybody, I don’t like put out Craigslist ads or anything but, you know, if I’ve got a steady I’m going to be like, ‘yo, fight time’s coming up.’ ”

JIM ROME: “That’s great. That works for you.”

Obviously, this interview didn’t harm her image with the masses. She drew a significant PPV buy rate for her bout against Liz Carmouche (w/ a good live gate at the Anaheim Pond as well), established herself as a top five PPV attraction in UFC (according to Dave Meltzer), and has now signed a deal with William Morris Endeavor to be represented in business affairs.

You would think on the topic of sex appeal and having sex with others that Ronda has a libertine attitude, would you not? Well, if you’re pushing a UFC product like The Ultimate Fighter: Real World edition, in the words of Brian J. D’Souza I guess you have to become… pliable… when the situation calls for it.

“Whatever line fits the moment is the one they’re gonna use.”

Q: “Talk a little bit about the House because you have been around it. It’s craziness, you know, I mean stuff getting broken, drunken parties. What do you think it’s going to be like when you add women to the mix?”

RONDA ROUSEY: “I don’t know because, I mean, the last couple of seasons people aren’t treating it like some reality TV show. They’re treating it like, you know, an actual documentary covering the hardest competition in sports and I expect that people are going to take this a lot more seriously than they expect. It’s not going to be as Jersey Shore-ish as a lot of people are predicting. But… I can only vouch for my team, I don’t know what the other team is going (to do). My team’s going to be angels, right, right guys? They’re going to be great. They’re going to be a bunch of winners and not a bunch of Snookis. The other team, they can do whatever they want.”

Q: “But do you think that the men will react well to women being around?”

RONDA ROUSEY: “Um, I don’t know. I mean I’m going to tell the girls, look, if you’re fooling around the house you’re going to be forever known as the chick as, you know… not being so classy in the house and the guy will always be the guy who, hey, I got laid in the house! So, um… I don’t know. I expect that the girls to be trying to hold it down and keep order more than the guys are.”

And if you think the sex angle was just some random question from the Fox interviewer, then perhaps you didn’t see the video of the media scrum or read this MMA Junkie article in which the message discipline is in full effect.

“I think that it’s going to be very similar in this season, at least on my team. I’m going to have to remind these girls that this is the first impression you’re setting for women MMA fighters because this is a lot of exposure that they’re going to be getting.

“If they’re the chick that was screwing around the house, for the rest of their career they’re going to be known as the chick that was screwing around the house. Sponsors are going to be looking at that. Everybody’s going to be looking at that.”

Let’s compare this to how Jon Jones’ fared on Saturday night.

Was he tipsy from drinking?

JON ANIK: “It will be Kelvin Gastelum against Uriah Hall. Your thoughts on the final here coming up in short order?”

JON JONES: “I think it’s going to be a great fight. You know, they’re two guys that I’m rooting for and a very mutual like. I’m just excited to see great Mixed Martial Arts.”

JON ANIK: “On season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, Chael Sonnen takes the coache’s challenge. He wins the polling. He’s got two guys in the final. Your oppourtnity, though, to get the win that matters most comes April 27th on PPV at UFC 159. What are you going to do make sure that he doesn’t get that W that’s ultimately the most important one?”

JON JONES: “The work is already done.”

JON ANIK: “Anything to say to Chael Sonnen here before you ultimately square off in a few weeks in New Jersey?”

JON JONES: “No.”

JON ANIK: “You guys seems to get along on the show. Certianly, not in this tense moment here tonight. Jon Jones not even willing to look at Chael Sonnen. Do you have sort of a building hatred here for Chael as the fight gets closer?”

JON JONES: “No, it’s not about hate. It’s about love. I love this sport. I love trying to perform at my best.”

When it comes to public relations blunders, Jon Jones is definitely a champion. It’s frustrating to watch someone who has so much talent and so much to give always finding ways to ruin the mood for the fans who support and back him. He has this weird knack for creating artificial ceilings that he can’t break through. Every time I watch Jon Jones do an interview, I feel like I’m seeing a character from Dave Walsh’s book, Godslayer, come to life. Here you have a man in Jon Jones who absolutely should be the most prominent face of the UFC and he’s not because you can never trust what he is going to say from one minute to the next. Every time he talks, you feel as if whatever Rashad Evans said in the past about the guy being a flake is true.

So, when you pair someone like Jones up with a transparent phony like Chael Sonnen, it’s either going to be really great comedy or it’s going to be a train wreck. Either it’s explosive or a complete dud. Sonnen’s trying his best to gin up respect for Jones and put him over while putting himself over at the same time. However, as you saw on last night’s FX telecast, Jones is not cooperating at all. He’s incoherent. He rushes off camera before the interview is finished. He wants no part of promoting the fight with Sonnen.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am no supporter of Sonnen in terms of his act or his drug usage. It’s pathetic. He doesn’t entertain me. He is what he is. However, Jon Jones has to act like a professional when it comes to advertising the fight. He doesn’t have to focus on the charades at all to successfully be engaged in discussing the fight itself and what he wants to do in the fight. So, yeah, Jon Jones should take some heat and some blame for not doing his job here.

The UFC should also take heat & blame for creating the mess they did last September by attempting to book Sonnen vs. Jones at the last minute and rail against Jones publicly for declining the fight. They haven’t been very professional, either, and the hostility between UFC management & Jon Jones’ camp is evident. So, what did they do? They decided to ratchet up the circus show a notch by building a season of The Ultimate Fighter around a match-up that Jones didn’t want in the first place. And they do this in order to promote a fight that Jones has no interest in. So, when Jon Jones doesn’t cooperate with the UFC on public relations, they can’t act surprised that he’s being a jerk.

It’s like the old fable with the scorpion and the frog where the scorpion asks the frog to trust him and take him across the river only for the scorpion to sting the frog and assure mutual destruction. That’s how I feel watching the UFC & Jon Jones interact with each other now every time they are trying to promote a new fight together.

I guess trying to get fighters on the same page is like herding cats, after all.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 28 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

28 Responses to “UFC message discipline problems: Ronda Rousey vs. Jon Jones”

  1. just me says:

    What a stupid article, were you drunk before you wrote this? So what if Jon Jones have his game face on and he is ready to go. Stop writing stupid crap

    Ed. — Didn’t realize people in Malaysia got worked up about this.

  2. RST says:

    “It’s not going to be as Jersey Shore-ish…”

    But you are jersey shore-ish.

    You’re smart mouthed tabloid level shtick is the feminist version of the situation from jersey shore.

    And the same media agenda that invented and foisted the jersey shore into the popular success that it was invented and foisted you into ppv sales.

    “When it comes to public relations blunders,…”

    I’m not really getting what the blunder is here?

    That he’s not performing funny antics and delivering zingers to the camera to entertain 13 year olds of all ages?

    Hasn’t a whole season of tuf and having to fight chael at all wasted enough of his (and anybody with a level of maturity over 13’s) time?

    Maybe the referee’s and ringside judges should start judging interviews and twitter posts instead.

    Then chael sonnen will be the light heavy weight champion of the world.

    (And dana’s fleshy nub of a head would glow an engourged and fluorescent pink of joy.)

    • Mark says:

      Jones took the fight for money. If he wanted to continue to be the real athlete of the UFC he could have said “No, I’m not fighting a guy who neither deserves a shot nor is even a 205’er.” He may have gotten blasted for refusing to fight him on short notice, but I think most people would agree with his stance that this fight doesn’t deserve to happen.

      So trying to “take the high road” in a farce you’re agreeing to do for money just comes off as pretentious. If you’re good enough for Chael to do his Roddy Piper promos on you for a big PPV bonus, you’re good enough not to act like you’re above it all when it happens.

      • Mark says:

        And I’m not saying Jones should be expected to turn into The Rock or something and cut a promo back. But making a contemptuous facial expression the whole time and acting grumpy for the presser is clearly not going to sit well with many people. There have been several guys who’ve handled similar situations better and didn’t have to go “LEMME TELL YOU SOMETHING BRUTHER!!!!”

        • RST says:

          ” If he wanted to continue to be the real athlete of the UFC he could have said “No,…”

          I agree that he should have.

          But I dont think its just as easy as just saying no to zuffa under a monopoly.

          He just said no to sonnen’s instigation’s for a ridiculous late replacement fight and they did everything they could to throw him under a bus in the media.

          Fitch just said no to signing away the rights to his likeness in perpetuity and they fired his whole team.

          Golden Glory, etc, etc

          I dont think he took the fight for the money or the popularity at all as much as under threat of repercussions towards himself and probably his whole team.

          Yeah I understand that since he’s gone this far with the charade that what does it hurt to just smile for the camera.

          But everybody has point where they say no more.

          Where they cant pretend to be what they’re not any more.

          If I had Jones talents, mine would have been throwing me under the bus for the first chael debacle.

          I would have been like:
          “hey man, give me real opponents or let me walk and everybody will know that your belt isn’t the best”.

          (True that easy for me to say in front of my keyboard.)

          Maybe he’s just finally reached that point and has had enough.

          Maybe the whole “beauty pageant” as Diaz somewhat accurately described it isn’t his thing and he’s done more already then he ever wanted or intended to.

          Its all fine and dandy for chael to dance around and act a fool,
          thats his predominant skill as a “fighter”.

          Jones’ skill is fighting.

          And he’s got a fight coming up.

          So boo hoo for the snowdens and the 13 year olds of the world who came to see something else IMO.

        • Mark says:

          He’s a bigger deal than Jon Fitch, so could definitely get away with saying “get me a real title contender, rather than this loser sideshow carny.” Dana would look like an idiot if he made an issue about Jones refusing to fight Chael, rather than whoever the real #1 contender is. There’s a massive difference between Jones ruining a PPV by turning him down and turning him down before a contract was even signed on reasonable grounds. If Dana came out and did his “Jon Jones is a $&@&#*^ who doesn’t care about the UFC” spiel, then people would say “Well, why does Chael deserve the fight? For thinking he’s Hot Rod in 1985? Come on” and suddenly Bones looks like the reasonable person in the dispute.

          Him doing what he did doesn’t hurt business, but it makes him look like what his reputation is. And sooner than later, that will come back to bite him in the ass.

        • Jason Harris says:

          “Dana would look like an idiot if he made an issue about Jones refusing to fight Chael, rather than whoever the real #1 contender is. “

          Except for the exact opposite happened in September when the media and everyone else was in a hurry to bash Jones for not fighting Chael.

  3. Mark says:

    It’s already a farce of a fight, so why not just go all the way with the farce?

    • edub says:

      Because he doesn’t want to?

      Who really gives a shit abou the last second interviews besides a few thousand people online?

      “OMG he acted like he was above Chael’s BS in an interview! He’s such a flake!”

      That’s an incredibly biased leap to make.

      • Jason Harris says:

        Seriously, of all the stupid non-stories people are trying to make from this Saturday, it’s really idiotic to try to make a story of Jones not responding to Chael’s trash talk.

        Who gives a shit?

        • Zach Arnold says:

          I’m always amused that every comment you write, it’s always a “nobody gives a damn about what you say” no matter what the topic may be. It can be any MMA topic and you just say the same response.

        • Zheroen says:

          You are a stupid establishment-sucking crony, and I hope you fucking rot.

        • Mark says:

          You are a stupid establishment-sucking crony, and I hope you fucking rot.

          “You stay classy, internet.”

      • Mark says:

        It isn’t a leap.

        He signed on for the fight because he knew Sonnen will get him great money in his PPV bonus.

        Why would Sonnen get him more money than any legit 205 contender?

        The promo.

        So acting like “HOW CAN HE DEFAME THIS SPORT BY THINKING HE’S A PRO WRESTLER!!!!” is ridiculous.

        If he doesn’t want to play with him, fine. But there’s more respectful ways to do it than making a boo-boo face and giving clipped responses to the media. That’s just being a d-bag.

        • Jason Harris says:

          Oh please. No matter what Jones does there are idiots in comments calling him a D-bag.

          He could sit there and say he was going to destroy Chael and that he didn’t even belong in the fight, people would call him a cocky asshole.

          He could say that he was really respectful of Chael and looking forward to the fight and people would call him fake and boring

          Or he can just not engage and people will call him a “d-bag”

        • Mark says:

          Oh please. No matter what Jones does there are idiots in comments calling him a D-bag.
          He could sit there and say he was going to destroy Chael and that he didn’t even belong in the fight, people would call him a cocky asshole.
          He could say that he was really respectful of Chael and looking forward to the fight and people would call him fake and boring
          Or he can just not engage and people will call him a “d-bag”

          I am a big fan of Jon Jones. I think he could end up being the greatest fighter of his era easily.

          But he, intentionally or unintentionally, has a way about him that comes off as being a douche sometimes. That doesn’t mean he’s not a nice guy or doesn’t care about the sport. That just means he makes mistakes that turn people against him. And that doesn’t mean I still don’t respect the hell out of him. So you’re way off base.

        • edub says:

          It isn’t a leap.

          He signed on for the fight because he knew Sonnen will get him great money in his PPV bonus.”

          None of that relates to anything I said. Jones taking the fight isn’t anything close to continuing a charade he’s become annoyed with.

          “So acting like “HOW CAN HE DEFAME THIS SPORT BY THINKING HE’S A PRO WRESTLER!!!!” is ridiculous.”

          You’re making the leap that he’s doing that, but its just as possible he’s literally pissed and just wants to get the fight going.

          “If he doesn’t want to play with him, fine. But there’s more respectful ways to do it than making a boo-boo face and giving clipped responses to the media. That’s just being a d-bag.”

          So what? You’re mad that he’s not respecting the process now?

          Again, no matter how much you say you like him. Your bias in this situation is showing through.

    • Mark says:

      If you’d read what I said I said this was completely different than the cancelled UFC PPV.

      There’s a massive difference between Jones ruining a PPV by turning him down and turning him down before a contract was even signed on reasonable grounds.

      If an entire PPV rests on the fight, then fight whomever gets tossed at you as a replacement. But if the best excuse UFC has is “We think it would make a good TUF season”, then you have the right to say no to Chael Sonnen. You can see many of the same people dissing Jones now dissing the made fight.

      • Mark says:

        Again, no matter how much you say you like him. Your bias in this situation is showing through.

        If somebody wants to go back and read every comment I’ve made on here about how much I think Chael Sonnen is an idiot and saying how much I enjoy Jon Jones’ fights and think he is more than likely going to be hailed as the greatest fighter the 2010s produced, then you’ll see saying I am biased towards Chael against Bones is ridiculous. I was one of the people on here mocking that Sonnen fanboy who used to post here claiming a massive MMA media conspiracy was out to destroy Sonnen’s good name. I haven’t been entertained by the guy since very early into the first Silva fight hype before he got idiotic. So go find other anti-Jones comments I’ve made and maybe you’ll have a point.

        All I am saying is he could have handled the situation better. There’s been many guys who had an opponent who wanted to go over the top into Cartoonland (tm Shane Douglas) when they didn’t want to who didn’t act like they were ashamed to be there (Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz, for example.) And I am saying is it’s especially ridiculous when Chael being over the top is the only thing the fight has going for it.

        I’ve never agreed with anybody claiming this is going to kill the show, since I also believe few will ever know about this, since pressers only get out past the hardcore fans if UFC wants it to get out past the hardcore fans (ie GSP and Diaz.) The only issue is if Jones really wants to get away from his reputation with some people, this wasn’t a way to do it. I don’t see how I, or others, are defaming his good name by saying this. You’re over reacting.

  4. RST says:

    Speaking of farces of a fight,
    I just read that GSP apparently guillesly addmitted to being over 170?

    Good.

    Give Diaz a cut of the purse and change the result into a non title fight.

    That would actually be much better since Diaz (and now sonnen) fighting for the belt was/is an embarrassment to the legitimacy of the sport.

    Call it what it is.

    Change the result to:

    “Showcase fight to satisfy dana’s twitter followers – Loss”.

    • edub says:

      Neither should happen.

      Commission allowed the weight change. Promotion knew/made the last second change. No penalty is necessary for GSP.

      Now, Diaz action against the AC/UFC might be warranted though.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    TUF Finale did 1.7 Million viewers…. The last two TUF Finales on FX did 1 Million & 1.3 Million.

    Seems like just as the UFC on FX picks up steam…. They are changing channels again.

    My guess is another 18 months or so on FOX Sports 1 for the UFC to fully hit their stride on that channel.

  6. King Famous says:

    I think this article is relavent. There are ways to sell a fight. JJ just won’t do it, or won’t key into how to. At this point in his career, he should know instead of not playing along. The more he contrasts Chael, the better the heat. Instead he is withdrawing himself, and thus the heat is left on the floor.

  7. Simon says:

    For those who say Chael doesn’t have a chance at winning this fight and that he doesn’t belong or deserve the fight, Anyone remember Vitor’s fight w/Jon Jones?

    I’ve watched Vitor since his early fights. Yes he has had some sort of a resurgence, but going back to his Pride days, Vitor wasn’t considered a top fighter back then. It wasn’t until he came back to UFC and found himself in a fight w/Anderson that he started being taken seriously in the media and with fans. Then he fights Jones and what happens? He nearly pulls off the armbar. Yes he didn’t get it, but Jon was in serious trouble with that armbar and Vitor said it himself that he gave up on it, had he hadn’t given up on it, he would have justified getting the fight.

    So what happens if Chael does the same, expect he actually pulls out the win? Will the media say this fight was a farce? That’s the problem with MMA.
    Too many fans, especially the new ones rely on two things. What the media tells them and what they see with their own eyes. And in both instances, they are ill-informed.

    The media lacks credibility to anyone who knows just how big a fraud a good majority of MMA media truly are. And in my personal experience watching a few hundred fights with random strangers or just random fans in general, you can’t trust them when it comes to their opinion in what happens in a fight. They see one thing and unless they actually study the martial arts, study fighting and have watched literally thousands of fights and have had certain things explained to them over time, then you just can’t trust their judgement.

    And one thing for Zach: “Was he tipsy from drinking?”
    What the hell man? Seriously? I can’t believe you went there. Not because of Jones past, because it’s true his past drinking issues have come back to bite him, but because what about his posturing or his presence made you think he was drunk? Or was it supposed to be an off hand joke? Hope it was the latter rather than the former.

    A joke is one thing, but literally wondering/assuming he was drunk because he’s had drunk driving issues in the past is wrong on all sorts of levels.

    That’s like someone who knows me and my past seeing me on TV and say “Was he stoned off his ass? Did he smoke too much pot before he went on camera?” even though they know nothing about my state of mind during that appearance, but are judging me based on their past experiences with me and just going off assumptions.

    • Zheroen says:

      What if a bear makes its way through security and kills both fighters in the Octagon? Should it be considered the undisputed LHW Champ? Your entire long-winded post is built on a bunch of what-if speculation/bullshit. Go do one.

    • Mark says:

      I think everybody knows almost any upset is possible. Maybe Jones would come in too cocky and leave himself open to getting hit clean on the jaw by Chael, or Sonnen catches him with a sub.

      But, come on, on paper Chael is such an underdog it is ridiculous to be outraged that nobody takes him seriously.

      Just look at the height difference in that video. Do you think Sonnen has a very good chance of getting close to Jon Jones with those long limbs? Jones’ long limbs have been an issue for guys taller than Sonnen is. So it’s going to take a miracle for him to win a fight standing, and he’s going to have a very difficult time getting close for a takedown.

      And regardless of the possibilities for the fight, the real reason I and others call the fight a farce is because Sonnen doesn’t deserve to be in a fight with the Light Heavyweight champion. He’s a Middleweight. He lost his last fight to Anderson Silva and won a controversial decision over Michael Bisping in the fight before that. That doesn’t scream out to me “guy on a roll who deserves the big opportunities.” Chael should have to go back to the end of the line like everybody else who loses a title fight in their division. He’s just being rewarded because Dana likes him and they don’t have confidence in anybody who actually deserves a title fight with Jones doing impressive business. I know UFC has done this several other times (ie Shamrock coming off of looking like a joke in PRIDE and getting a fight with Ortiz at UFC 40 and Couture retiring after his 2nd loss to Chuck and getting a title fight with Sylvia at UFC 68) but it still doesn’t make it good for UFC’s credibility.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      Anyone remember Vitor’s fight w/Jon Jones?

      Yeah, Vitor got as close to winning as anyone imagined he could and then Jones still managed to win. “If he hadn’t given up” LOL. You’re talking about Vitor Belfort.

      • The Gaijin says:

        “For those who say Chael doesn’t have a chance at winning this fight and that he doesn’t belong or deserve the fight, Anyone remember Vitor’s fight w/Jon Jones?”

        Except for the fact that regardless of what you think about Vitor, he is a legit BJJ blackbelt and that’s not something Sonnen has the skills or wherewithal to pull off. Not to mention, Sonnen is Capt. Pillowfist so he’s not getting a knockout.

        So that leaves us with Sonnen taking down, holding down and outwrestling Jones – a far, far bigger and more athletic fighter with very strong wrestling. It *could* happen, if you want to argue miniscule theoreticals, but it won’t.

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