Jon Jones: current UFC light heavyweight champion, youngest champion in UFC history, defeated only once in his 15 career fights due to a technicality, impressively dominant in every fight and most importantly let’s not forget – arrogant champion.
Successful in his first title defense against another former champion and MMA veteran Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jones was “upset” by his next opponent Rashad Evans (pictured with Jones) entering the cage for the second time (first was when he won the title against Shogun Rua) and “stole his moment”
In the position of champion, everyone is gunning for you. Fighters, promoters, sponsors, etc all looking to jump on the bandwagon to have their name thrown into the moment and honestly, having Evans stand in the cage after winning only helps sell the fight more for the UFC. We know the bad blood between them and will see it come to a head when they meet for the title. Until then, we have moments like post fight meetings to keep the hype moving and make fans interested in purchasing the next PPV.
The constant wanking of people “stealing my moment” are opposite of the humble, thankful image Jones pushes in his interviews and press conferences. Stop portraying that you are here for the moment and willing to accept whatever comes your way, only to get upset when someone who wants your title or tell you to your face they are better than you, when in fact you try to play it off as nothing.
Similar to the star high school athlete, “Bones” has no problem accepting all the accolades and love of those who come to watch you perform but when someone comes to say, ‘I can beat you’ he gets an attitude and throws a fit. Also, with the position he is in, more people are going to find whatever they can of him to tear down, mis-interpret and attempt to get under his skin, trying to throw his focus off for the next fight.
It would seem as talented physically he is inside the cage; he lacks what it is mentally to be the champion this early in his career. Winning the belt as young as he did, in the fashion he did and against another champion (Shogun), his head inflated alongside all the praise that media, fighters and fans were giving him. In order to keep his belt and fan base, Jones will need to adapt to the pressures of being the champ in and out of the cage, taking all mud-slinging and trash talk along the way.
For example, fans will buy a fight featuring guys like Rampage or Chael Sonnen because they can talk the best trash and sell the fight. When their opponent or anyone else tries to detract them, they are able to throw it back full force and at times, defeat them mentally and inside the octagon.
Possessing everything it takes to remain atop of his division for sometime, the sky is the limit for Jon Jones; however, he will need to be changing his mental game and be ready for anyone who is there to throw a stumbling block on his path to greatness.
Picture courtesy of Getty Images