UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been the subject of countless debates since starting his reign by defeating Shogun Rua at UFC 128. The general consensus on Jones is that he can come across a little smug sometimes, although having that much talent may come with certain side effects, such as ego-inflation.
A new debate rages in the world of MMA, surrounding the UFC’s next marquee fighters. With Anderson Silva and GSP out of the mix for the moment, and many former stars retiring; a gap has been left for rising stars to fill. Jones stopped by with Bloodyelbow.com, to discuss his role as 205 champ and more:
"We don't always see eye to eye with the UFC, so I don't know if they are always necessarily pushing me and whether that's a smart idea on their end or not, who knows? I do know that they are pushing Ronda Rousey really hard, and she's gotten a lot of great opportunities. I don't know what they're going to do, but I'm pushing myself all the time so, I'm not really worried."
Jones certainly fought his way to the top, and has since dominated many former champions during his reign. It comes as a surprise to hear that Jones doesn’t think he is being promoted as much as WMMA legend Ronda Rousey, especially seeing as ‘Bones’ has been the main event in his last seven bouts. He continued:
"I know that I'm a lot different from some of the guys from the past. Guys like Chuck Liddell, and guys like Matt Hughes that would just get up and do anything, anytime, and never voice their opinion. I'm trying to change a lot of things in the game. Making sure the fighters are being respected, making sure our own brands are being respected, things like that. We just don't always see eye to eye on everything, either way it works out."
Jones will look to defend his coveted LHW strap when he steps in the cage against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in Baltimore. The April 26 card will be another chance for ‘Bones’ to prove that he is the best 205er out there, and he attributes his success thus far to his coaching team at Jackson’s MMA:
“I'm an extremely dangerous, motivated person. Every time someone fights the champ they have the best training camp of their life. The hire all these new trainers and a nutritionist, and they do all the things they weren't doing before to have the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm aware of that. So, what I do is that I top them with my coaches, with my training, with my ambition, with my enthusiasm for the sport. I had a lot of guys try, and a lot of guys come up short. I'm just really, really starting to believe in my coaching staff, and the program we have."
Who knows which Jones will show up against GT at 172, especially after his humbling experience at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. The Swedish ‘Mauler’ came very close to snatching Jones’ title in a thriller of a bout, one which raised many questions about how much longer the 26 year old New York native will remain the champ.