Last month’s UFC 232 did some strong pay-per-view numbers, and Jon Jones isn’t going to let his haters forget that.
The all-time great light heavyweight champion regained the title that was stripped from him by destroying Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of the December 29 card from Las Vegas, Nevada. Of course, it wasn’t without some controversy, as Jones forced the year-ending event to be moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for another drug-related holdup.
He had tested positive for trace amounts of Turinabol and the NSAC refused to license him on short notice. While USADA didn’t sanction him citing ‘residual’ amounts from his previous failure and no new use, Jones curiously passed both USADA and CSAC-issued drug tests during UFC 232. ‘Bones’ didn’t waste any time in trolling Gustafsson or the many haters he had due to his drug test history.
‘Bones’ did something similar with UFC 232’s numbers, touting them online in a since-deleted Instagram post (via MMA Mania):
“Love me, hate me. As long as the people care I’m good.”
And They Do Care
He may have a good point there, because while he’s no doubt regarded as one of if not the largest villains in the UFC, fans get talking when Jones’ name comes up.
‘Bones” long-running rivalry with current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is one of the most bitter in MMA history. That fight seemed like it was headed back towards a third running after Jones got the title “DC” vacated before UFC 232. But Jones will reportedly take on surging light heavyweight Anthony Smith at March 2’s UFC 235. Cormier has teased facing Brock Lesnar and then retiring before he turns 40.
You still have to think Jones and Cormier aren’t done just yet. The trilogy bout would almost assuredly do big numbers despite Jones winning the first two at light heavy. ‘Bones’ can clearly bring in the views, and he’s one of the most polarizing names in MMA.
So love him or hate him, he certainly makes people care about the fight game. 2019 could be a big year for the UFC as a result.