UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones hasn’t exactly made a bunch of friends during his dominant tenure. Alexander Gustafsson recently likened the UFC’s treatment of Jones to that of a spoiled child, and it seems like every week there’s a new fighter looking to call Jones out for a title shot.
A lot of that is just inherent to the fight game, but it’s starting to look like several fighters just don’t like ‘Bones.’ Daniel Cormier, long rumored to cut down to 205 for a fight with Jones, may be the most outspoken combatant in this fray. That doesn’t sit well with Jones, because he doesn’t think Cormier deserves a chance to fight him. But he does believe that African-American fighters should do more to stick together in MMA:
"To be honest with you, I don't think Daniel Cormier really deserves a big fight," Jones said. "I don't respect him as a person. I think fighting me would be an opportunity of a lifetime for him. I don't think I have much to gain from beating Daniel Cormier because no one knows who he is, and he hasn't really proved much. He seems to really not like me and be a big hater of mine. It's sad, considering we're both African-American and there's not many of us in the sport. We should try to find a common bond. We don't need to be friends, but we should at least respect each other. It's pathetic that me and Rashad have such a bad relationship and me and Daniel have such a bad relationship." – via MMA Fighting
That’s an interesting stance taken by Jones, who both simultaneously calls Cormier out as undeserving but then asks him to stick together as members of a common group. It’s a strange mixture of feelings, and one that Cormier most likely isn’t going to respond well to.
If Jones gets past Gustafsson with ease in Toronto this weekend, the short list of worthy contenders to his belt is going to really be narrowed down to two competitors: Cormier and Glover Teixeira. Many would argue that Cormier is in fact deserving of a shot at Jones, and since DC is one of the highest ranked Heavyweights in the UFC, Jones does stand to gain much by beating him. ‘Bones’ may have a point when he calls for African-American fighters to band together, but starting out by saying you don’t respect someone is no way to foster camaraderie.
As far as Teixeira goes, Jones doesn’t think he’s ready for a title shot either, based on his recent performance against Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 28:
"I don't think he's ready to beat me. I thought he showed signs, being punched that hard by Bader shows me where he's at. No matter what your excuse is, it still happened. If you're a seasoned vet and you said you allowed overconfidence to be your weakness, it's still a weakness you allowed to happen in the first place. I don't think he's the guy who's going to beat me."
Jones has taken his time in the spotlight to come out with some precise and criticizing words about the two people he’s most likely to face next. Whether he deems them worthy or not, he’ll most likely face one of them in his next fight should he get past Gustafsson. What is your take on Jones’ words here? Is he trying to stir the pot and hype his next fight already, or is he just playing the heel so the PPV buys will roll right in?