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My Plea To Jon Jones: Be Ali

Mike Goldberg loves to use the terms “classy and humble” when describing fighters. One fighter he believes to be the classiest and humblest of them all is Jon Jones. I guess because Jones is only 24-years old and he thanks God every time he wins, that makes him, “a classy and humble young man.” Maybe Goldberg is just confusing Jones with Tim Tebow, since they’re both a little awkward with their style and they save lives when they’re not doing their day job.

I don’t think Jones is as classy and humble as Goldberg wants fans to believe. I think he’s a kid who wants to portray himself that way because that’s how everyone expects him to be, but while doing that, he’s not really being himself.

I believe that Jones is a cocky, but very confident, young man. And that’s the image that I hope he starts to portray. I don’t think I’m asking him to be something that he’s not, because it seems to me that right now he’s trying to be something that he’s not.

Not too long ago Bruce Buffer said that Jones could be the Muhammad Ali of MMA. So why not do it? People loved Ali because he was a cocky and confident fighter, and he backed it up in the ring. Even if people didn’t like Ali, they still watched in hopes that he would get his ass-kicked.

Jones can be the Ali of MMA.

He has the charisma, both inside and outside of the cage, to become the most popular fighter in the world. He’s going to gain fans and attention because of the way he fights, but if he wants to be something more, he can’t keep being someone that he’s not.

Jones needs to be the Ali of MMA.

He needs to embrace his personality. The Jones we saw on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week was authentic. He was holding his own in a war of words with Quinton Jackson, but doing it in a funny way. I think that’s who Jones really is – someone he doesn’t show often enough.

Here’s what I want from Jones: I want him to start opening up and get as creative outside of the cage as he is inside.

After he won the UFC title, Jones said, “I would get rid of the replica belt. I hate it when people come up to me with a belt that looks exactly like mine and they ask me to sign it. I worked three times a day for three years to get this belt, and now this guy asking me for an autograph has one just like it. Are you serious? I mean it’s not as heavy, but it looks just the same. I never sign those belts”

He was criticized for those comments, and even though I think they were a glimpse of his true personality, he can turn those comments around on the fans and Jackson.

Jones should show up with a replica belt, sign it, and present it to “Rampage” Jackson, who keeps saying, “I want my belt back” anytime there is a microphone in his face. He should also pop a breath mint or two before his staredown with Jackson, so Quinton, who loves to bring up the bad breath of his opponents, can’t use that as an excuse.

I want Jones to start predicting what round he’s going to finish opponents in. Tell me you wouldn’t enjoy Jones saying, “I’m going to finish this clown with elbows in the third round” or “I’ll choke him out in the first and have him dying of thirst.” It takes a certain charisma to pull something like this off, and Jones has that charisma and timing to where he could easily get the job done.

You can tell that Jones wants to be a cocky champion, who knows he’s the best, and who will go out there and prove it no matter what anyone says or thinks of him. Maybe it’s just that “Rampage” is bringing this personality out of him, but I think we’ve all seen glimpses of it throughout Jones’ career.

He can be cocky but retain his humbleness. Maybe he thinks he has to be one or the other, but it’s possible to be both. All he has to do is praise his opponent, but just continue to say that he’s better, and he’s going to prove it in the octagon.

He doesn’t have to be overly-classy, where he’s doing nothing but praising his opponent and thanking God, he doesn’t have to be overly-cocky where he’s only praising himself, and he doesn’t have to be completely reserved where he’d rather not talking about anything.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, “Bones” Jones can be Muhammad Ali.