Has Jon Jones become the most hated champion in UFC history?Posted on September 3, 2012, 06:14 PM by Mike Drahota
It is no secret that UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has lost some fans in the aftermath of the cancellation of UFC 151. Many blamed Jones for the event's demise for backing out of an impromptu fight with former Middleweight challenger Chael Sonnen. While he agreed to fight later in the month against Lyoto Machida and ultimately Vitor Belfort after Machida changed his mind, Dana White was quick to rush and blame Jones and his camp for being completely at fault. There are tons of details involved, and fans have a veritable spectrum of views and opinions on the subject, but it remains a fact that Jon Jones is quickly becoming a heel in the public's eye. Like him or not, his popularity may be headed into the realm of people paying to see him hopefully lose. Is Jon Jones the most hated champion in UFC history?
Jones appears to become more and more arrogant and self-entitled to the public eye with each fight. He also seems to be getting better with each fight, looking seemingly unstoppable since obtaining the Light Heavyweight crown early last year. Gaining endorsements from the likes of Nike and the UFC itself, he was headed for a poster boy status as the undisputed golden boy of MMA. But something went amiss along the path to that canned, too-good-to-be-true scenario. It may have started when Jones was blamed for faking a hand injury to avoid fighting Rashad Evans after Evans, Jones's famed training partner and former friend, left Greg Jackson's camp. It may have started when he began signing autographs “Jon Jones, UFC Light Heavyweight champion” before the belt was his. It could have been when he engaged in a massive trash-talk war with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, a fan-favorite. Who knows. Any way you slice it, Jon Jones has become the heel after the whole UFC 151 fiasco.
Sure, you could cite champions who people sincerely didn't like, like Anderson Silva or Matt Hughes, or even the notoriously tough-to-reason-with Brock Lesnar. But they never rocked the boat quite like Jones has of late. Is it truly deserved? That could be arguable. Could Jones soften it up for the public and maybe put his own needs on the back shelf for a moment? Also debatable. If he wants to be the long-reigning champ at 205, it may behoove him to make some friends along the way. Apparently, he does not seem to think the same way, Tweeting this response to a fan this weekend:
@vince_mcman I'm not here to be loved, I'm here to be dominant— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 1, 2012
Is it true? Has Jon Jones become the most hated champion in UFC history? I think he has, folks. Can he repair his image to the fans? Maybe, but does he even care? His actions, as of late, would suggest he does not. After the UFC sponsored him and backed him through his legal issues, one would think he may step up to bat for them. Instead, Jones spoke of “Carrying the cross” for his company in a half-hearted apology for the cancellation. Perhaps he is the greatest fighter, but part of fighting is relating to the fans, after all. His publicist recently walked out on Jones because the rising star fighter was reportedly so prickly to deal with. Should Jon Jones tune it down a notch and show some concern and respect for his fans?