Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Jon Jones Trolls The UFC, Fans, The World

Last year, Jon Jones, the best fighter alive, defended his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson. It was great! The Swede couldn't pull out the win, but he became the only challenger ever to give Jones real trouble. Everyone wanted to see a rematch.

The UFC has been trying to arrange that rematch. (They went so far as to tell ESPN that they had a date set and everything, and were just waiting on the champion to sign a bout agreement.) As promotional figurehead Dana White recently explained in an "exclusive interview" with someone who works for him, though, Jones doesn't want to fight Gustafsson. He wants to fight terrifying and undefeated former Olympic wrestling captain Daniel Cormier instead.

This all seems like normal posturing. I imagine things going like this: the UFC tells Jones they want to sign him for a Gustafsson fight; Jones says he would like more money; the UFC says they would not like to give him more money; Jones says in that case he would prefer to take a different fight, etc. etc. The two sides are negotiating, in other words.


Because UFC fans are unaccustomed to seeing labor use any sort of leverage against management, though, and because they're quite accustomed to seeing every conflict as a test of manhood, this has resulted in exactly what you'd expect. Many fans are doing precisely what the UFC would like them to do, calling Jones a coward who's ducking a fight. This doesn't actually make any sense—Cormier may well be a tougher fight than Gustafsson—but whatever.

Anyway, there is your background for the above video, which Jones posted to Instagram and then quickly deleted, though not before an internet user snared a copy. It's pretty great, if just because in public, at least, world class athletes are generally very respectful of the idea that they're supposed to care what you think. The contemptuous little smirk on Jones's face should tell you something about how much they really do.

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