By Rich Davie@RichDavieMarch 14, 2014
Jon Jones the UFC light heavyweight champ seems to have abandoned the humble and likable persona that he portrayed when he first appeared on the MMA scene, and now appears to be wholly embracing the role of MMA heel.
There were always those individuals who "didn't like something about Jones" from the onset, and that unspecified "something" led many to believe the reason was that Jones was receiving so much praise for the manner in which he was dispatching of opponent after opponent... several of which were legendary icons of MMA that have large and loyal fan bases.
The destruction of these MMA icons by this young up-and-comer initially appeared to be the motivation for the immense dislike from Jones' early detractors, and the "validation bar" was constantly being raised by his detractors as a measure for Jones to prove himself worthy of the praise bestowed upon him by his fans and industry insiders... and once those goals were met, the excuse for the dislike evolved into "he's a phony" who pretends to be somebody he's not.
In addition to the large group of Jones detractors that existed early on, there's a growing number of MMA fans and MMA fighters who are starting to question the character of Jon Jones.
There's no need to mention several of Jones' very public indiscretions that raise doubt as to his character and the facade he built for himself portraying a likable, humble, righteous, and religious individual, but the shadow of doubt and dark cloud surrounding that apparent fabricated facade continually grows.
Some time ago, Jones made a decision to handle his own public relations... and he's extremely bad at it !
In fact, Jones has become a bit of an internet troll... and very few people appreciate internet trolls.
The more Jones speaks in public, the more he turns off MMA fans and fighters... Jones is in dire need of a public relations firm that either speaks for him, or at the very least advises him on how to conduct himself in public and on social media.
Gone is the once humble and respectful young man who was a very likable character, only to be replaced by an arrogant and condescending individual who is very difficult to admire or even like.
What has caused Jon Jones to become such an unlikable character who feels the need to diminish others ?
Could it be he's feeling the pressure to live up to the public facade he constructed ?
Could it be he's become all too aware of the growing number of MMA fans that once supported him are now turning against him due to his words and actions ?
Could it be the fame and fortune that he's earned as the champ that has paved the "golden streets" where he now resides, and he no longer feels compelled to live up to the image he created to endear himself to fans ?
Could it be that many MMA fans, fighters, and industry insider believe that he actually lost the match-up with Alexander Gustafsson ?
Could it be that the once seemingly "unbeatable" Jones has had the chinks in his armor exposed, and MMA fans, fighters, and industry insiders are now openly speaking about it ?
Could it be that MMA fans and MMA fighters are publicly stating that he is no longer willing to take on all comers no matter how difficult the fight may be for him, and instead would rather pick 'soft opponents' to be matched-up with ?
Could it be that many individuals are now hoping to see his reign as the champ come to an end sooner rather than later ?
Could it be that he was clearly upset when Daniel Cormier and Rashad Evans failed to bow at the alter of Jones, and as he so ineptly put it, they should have because they're "his people" (referring to the fact that they're of the same race) and they should support him for that reason because "there are so few of them" in the sport of MMA ?
Who knows what the reason or reasons are for Jones' acting out in a manner that is unbefitting for both an individual who initially presented himself as humble and pious, and as a martial artist who is the light heavyweight champ in the elite MMA organization of today.
It's more than likely a combination of all of the above, but whatever the reason or reasons are... Jones has once again stumbled in a bumbling manner and presented himself in an unflattering light in the public arena, when a week ago or so Daniel Cormier respectfully asked Jon Jones for a shot at the light heavyweight title.
Jones' dismissive response to Cormier's request motivated Tyson Griffin to lend support to Daniel Cormier... that support motivated Jon Jones to choose the "low road" and turn-up the charm factor by sarcastically offering Tyson Griffin a Job as his water boy for his next fight.
In addition to that low class response, Jones also felt the need to insult Griffin further by calling him a clown, and stating that he has to go because he needs to prepare for a world title fight... but Tyson wouldn't know much about that sort of thing.
Here's what transpired recently between Cormier, Jones, and Griffin :Daniel Cormier to Jon Jones :
"Hey, Jon. This is Daniel Cormier. Bro. Brother. I'm asking nicely. I'm not aggressive. I'm not trying to be confrontational, Jon. I'm just asking, would you be willing to give me a chance to fight you. Please, Jon. Please, brother. Make the decision."Jon Jones to Daniel Cormier :
"Hey, DC. I really respect what you've done with losing that weight. I think that's extremely inspirational to a lot of people. It shows what type of heart you have that you're willing to sacrifice those meals and get yourself to 205 [pounds].
"First and foremost, since you're speaking more respectfully, I'll say congratulations on your victory and your weight loss. But as far as giving you a title shot, I have no interest in fighting you right now, only because of the fact that you really haven't fought anyone that I consider a top level fighter. I'm kind of sick of seeing UFC light heavyweights fight against kind of like 'cans' until they get a title shot. I really want to see a top contender fight a top contender and I think you need to fight someone a little bit more well-known than Patrick Cummins. Fight against Rashad [Evans], fight against somebody legit, man. Then I think it would be a little more appropriate to give you that title shot."
That's not too disrespectful, but Jones really turned-up the charm factor when Tyson Griffin stepped-in to support Daniel Cormier :
That response from Griffin isn't all that unreasonable, but it was the following series of Twitter DMs (direct messages) from Jones to Tyson Griffin that exhibits the true character of Jon Jones that hides behind the facade he's built for himself :
That's a tactless and classless response that Jones apparently thought wouldn't see the light of day since it was conveyed in a direct message.
Shortly after the match-up between Jones and Gustafsson, Jones admitted that he squeaked out a victory in his bout with Gustafsson and he had been humbled... although with the comments and actions that Jones is becoming know for it's difficult to discern the humility that Jones was referring to.
Maybe Glover Teixeira will be able to "put the cherry on top" of the humble pie that Jones needs a healthy serving of.