UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is often the recipient of rather bad press, whether it’s his notorious social media trolls, or media day brawls; there always seems to be some negative media attention focused on “Bones”, but that isn’t a bad thing for the young champ, indeed Jones plays up to the role of heel, although some might say too well.
The latest in the endless line of Jones’ critics is American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez. The former kickboxing champion, and current coach of Luke Rockhold, Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, says to Submission Radio that Jones’ eye pokes are a serious issue:
“He sticks out (his fingers) all the time. Instead of closing his fist he opens up his finger and that’s a motherfucker to deal with you know. Because fighters have to deal with being poked in the eyes running into that all the time, so that’s a major issue for me. If Jones has time, I hope he can practice closing his hand when he sticks it out. It’s ok to measure a fighter, but it’s not ok to stick your hands out open like he does all the time. And you watch you watch all of his fights, he does it in every freakin fight, it’s just unbelievable how many times he does it.”
When questioned about the eye poking, the champion has said repeatedly that it is not intentional. The problem is that the pokes are occurring in every fight, yet nothing has been done to try and prevent or mitigate the infraction/ Mendez continues:
“That’s a very dangerous tool. I think he should be warned before the fight, I think he should be warned during the fight, and I think he should get points taken away if he continues to do it, because you know, I’ve even seen John McCarthy warn him about ‘don’t open your hands, don’t open your hands!’ But he’s not been warned enough. He does it way more than I’ve seen anybody ever do. I personally feel he’s such a great fighter, he is pound of pound the best fighter in the world, why does he need to do it? He doesn’t need to do that, and he says it’s an old habit and it’s not intentional, well I believe him, but please work on it. Please work on correcting that. Because you know, I would hate a fight of this magnitude to be ended because of an accidental eye poke, and because he has the habit of doing that. That would be ridiculous.”
It truly would be a very anticlimactic moment if a fight was finished by an inadvertent (or otherwise) eye poke by the champion. Furthermore, if Jones had been warned enough, could this be considered a point deductible foul? If so, surely a DQ would be used if he is deemed to be doing it on purpose?
Old habit or not, Bones’ eye pokes need to become a thing of the past. At the very least, “DC” and his buddies down at AKA have been doing some grest work in anticipation of the fight with “Bones”, check it out: