Thursday, August 23, 2012

How To Tarnish A Legacy in One Easy Step - The Jon "Bones" Jones Story

I'm writing this under the assumption that you already know about the fate of UFC 151.

By all accounts UFC 151 was a lousy UFC PPV card.  It didn't matter though.  I was going to buy it.  Jon Jones as interesting, dynamic fighter and we might ever see another like him in MMA for a long time.  He is building a sense of invincibility around him that's reaching a Mike Tyson-esque level where on one hand you're paying to watch him dismantle his opponent and on the other, you want to say you were watching if someone pulled off the upset.  But now because of Jon Jones there is not even a UFC 151 to buy.

I didn't watch Jon Jones' UFC debut.  Prelims weren't easily available at the time but his reputation grew pretty quickly.  It was actually after his DQ loss to Matt Hamill that I began thinking that this guy is not going to lose for a long time.  There is no doubt that Jon Jones was going to be champion one day.  Fortunately for him, and apparently, unfortunately for us he was probably given the opportunity to fight for a title ahead of the UFC's plan for him due to injuries in the light heavyweight class.  Before he won the title he seemed like a talented, humble kid with goals.  He even took the title shot on relatively short notice (43 days is by far his quickest turnaround in his UFC career).  Since he won the title he's become a diva.  I have no problem with guys fighting only for the money.  As a fan, I have a problem with a guy SAYING he's fighting only for the money.  You hear him trying to shun a Lyoto Machida rematch because the PPV buys in their first meeting weren't the greatest.  And the icing on the cake today, having a chance to single handedly save a UFC event by fighting a guy he would destroy in Chael Sonnen who was willing to take this fight on 8 days notice.  And knowing what I know about Dana White, I'm sure that if Jones had reservations about taking the fight, White would make it even more than worth his while if it meant not having to withstand the black eye the UFC has today for cancelling a whole event.  Not to mention that you have to think in the unlikely event that Sonnen caught him and won the title, based on Jones' body of work, he'd get an immediate rematch.  It's just sad and ridiculous to me.  It makes me think that despite all the talent in the world that maybe Jones is more insecure in those talents than he leads on.  I don't know.

Jon Jones can be champion for the next 10-15 years but for me, today is how I'll always remember him.  I'll watch a Jon Jones fight on FOX or on an episode of UFC Unleashed and even though I know it doesn't make a difference if one person doesn't buy a UFC PPV, but I don't see myself paying for one of his cards ever again.

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