UFC 159: Jon Jones Still Has a Lot of Growing to Do

Article by Dave Walsh

When you consider raw talent and ability, Jon Jones is really something to behold, but the truth behind Jon Jones is that he is merely human and it shows. It shows in his personality, how he handles his brushes with fame, or even how he promotes a fight. This weekend Jon Jones will step into the Octagon against former Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen and while many are excited, Jon Jones himself seems like this fight isn’t even on his radar and has shown no concern with selling it to the fans. As talented as he is, Jon Jones has yet to really prove himself as a PPV draw for the UFC just yet and a fight against a proven PPV draw like Chael Sonnen seems like a sure fire way to help raise his stock, even if the fight won’t be that competitive.

When it comes to just about any business, there is a saying where you gotta “play ball” to go places, and play ball is exactly what Jon Jones is not doing in the lead-up to the fight with Chael Sonnen. The reality of this fight is that Sonnen is a now two-time failed Middleweight contender and simply talked his way into this fight as well as a spot coaching on The Ultimate Fighter. To say that Chael Sonnen will have problems with the younger, bigger and almost unstoppable Jon Jones is an understatement at this point and I’m sure that everyone — Sonnen included — understands this. But, as I stated before, Chael Sonnen has shown that his brand of self-promoting can attract attention and translate into PPV buys, but Jones isn’t playing along.

This is far from the first time that Jon Jones has found his own lack of maturity biting himself in the ass, though, not by a longshot. Jon Jones may still be young and only have a handful of fights in the Octagon, but he already has a greatest hits playlist that is becoming ridiculous. Stuff like dropping Lyoto Machida after choking him out and hearing Greg Jackson have to remind him to check up on the fallen Machida to, and I quote, “get some fans.” Or how about Jon Jones complaining about Rashad Evans ruining his “special night,” not once but twice! Maybe we could talk about his actions outside of the cage, where Jones has a reputation backstage that doesn’t quite live up to his good Christian dad and boyfriend package that he sells to the fans. We got a really nasty peak into that with his recent DUI arrest and car crash, where there were two younger girls in the backseat of his car.

A lot of this stuff can be simply written off as “boys will be boys” or that Jones is still young and will grow into his role, but Jones tries to promote himself as a role model and a good Christian, sadly his actions cannot back this up. Going into the fight against Chael Sonnen the odds will be firmly in his favor, but Jones is already looking ahead to not only his next title fight, but the big money superfights that await him in the future, all while overlooking a scenario in the present which could make him a lot of money if he’d only play ball.