Jon Jones: “No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida.”

UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones didn’t mince words when recently asked about a potential second encounter with Lyoto Machida, showing a complete lack of interest in the rematch. Machida, a former champion in the division himself, was recently named the top contender after disposing of Ryan Bader in impressive fashion.

Despite the fact that Machida won a round against Jones during their 2011 meeting, “Bones” feels like a second fight would be a no-win situation for him (and even fans).

“He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida,” said Jones om am onterview with ESPN. “I don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is a high risk low reward. He’s a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight.”

Jones met the likes of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last year as well as Rashad Evans during his 2012 campaign with all three PPVs doing better buyrate-wise than his meeting with Machida.

“Why would I want to fight someone where it’s a lose-lose situation,” Jones asked. “I won’t make money on it, and he’s a tricky fighter.”

However, Jones also made it clear he was only focused on Dan Henderson at the moment who he’ll defend his title against on September 1 at UFC 151, stating he was in no way looking past the legendary competitor.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

17 COMMENTS
  • drstu says:

    Kind of a back-handed complement I suppose.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I want to see Machida fight Jones, so just proved him wrong.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    “He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. …”

    This is why I’m curious as to how big a draw Jones really is. Rampage still had a huge fan base when they fought and he’s one of the biggest proven PPV draws in the sport. Rashad (and a couple internet posters) hyped the hell out of their fight and Rashad is the best selling PPV fighter in the UFC. Even Machida has outsold Jones in PPV numbers (2.16 million to 1.84 million). Just an example, Jones/Shogun sold less than Rampage/Machida and there was no title on the line. I’m very curious to see if Jones/Hendo does better than Jones/Machida as neither Machida nor Henderson care much about the hype game.
    I think the jury is still out on whether Jones can carry a card on his own or not. ‘Course when you have the belt, maybe you don’t have to worry about that.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  • raker says:

    Machida is still the biggest threat to the belt. I wanna see Lyoto get another chance after the way the first fight went down.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • MickeyC says:

    If jones is so concerned with the fights the Fans want to see, whay is he not ralleying for a go at Anderson?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • RicM says:

    ” Lyoto is a high risk low reward. “…………..guess that means because he won a round against you,you’re a bit concerned? I’ll buy that fight again……when you’re the champ, you should be fighting people that are” high-risk “…….because you’re the CHAMP………

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • JBAR says:

    1. I would like to see him against Machida again.

    2. Most of the time I choose the cards I purchase based on the overall card not just one fight. I wish I could afford to get them all but until that dang powerball comes through I have to work to a budget.

    3. The PPV buy rate should have ZERO bearing on the champions decision on who he will defend his belt against, that is the matchmakers responsibility. The champion’s responsibility is to take on the fighters that the matchmaker put’s in front of him.

    Bones just needs to shut up and do his job and leave the matchmaking to someone else.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • TSU21 says:

    Man, that was his lowest ppv draw in his title fights…that was the fight I was more pumped about than any of his other ones and will prob buy it again, along with my 7 or 8 buddies which makes it possible for me not to miss a ppv…just saying

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    I always say I’d like to see Machida get another shot…If JJ was a HUGE draw it wouldnt matter who he fought because fans would just buy into his fights regardless…. fucking mayweather and Pac man have huge #’s and half the boxing fans are buying the cards knowing the challengers have nothing for the champs…. it’s your brand and your self your selling not just your opponent.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    I see JJ is growing a big burly beard… guess he’s hoping that will cushion a Hendo OHR.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sumoninja says:

    In what alternate reality do people not want to see Jones/Machida 2???? Closest fight to date against a guy that hit you more than anyone else and whom causes serious range problems even for someone with Jones’ huge reach. Pretty sure I want that fight. I want that after Henderson, and then Jones/Shogun 2 as well. Sorry, Jon, its not about money and brand and all that BS that is a necessary evil to produce the basis of it all – a fight.
    His comments really sound like ducking a scary fight to me.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I think in the haste to jump all over every comment that comes from Jones, people are losing sight of reality a bit. Lyoto got choked unconscious by Jones, then beat Ryan Bader, and now is set to face Jones again. Seriously…the likely scenario we’re dealing with here involves Lyoto losing to Jones, beating a completely outclassed Bader, then moved right back to another shot at Jones’ belt…all within about a year span. Is that what anyone is actually clamoring for? Really?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Now if the thought process is more along the lines of… well, given the total lack of interesting and/or feasible options for Jones’ next defense after Hendo, Lyoto is about as good as we can get… then OK, I can hop on board with that.

    But that’s not really the vibe I’m getting from some of the comments.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    @Richard
    I think you’re missing the point. Jones didn’t come out and say he doesn’t think Lyoto Deserves the shot. He came out and said no one wants to see him fight Lyoto due to low ratings.
    Had Jones said,
    “I don’t want to rematch Lyoto at this point in his career. He got his first shot at my belt on a one fight win streak over an old, one dimensional wrestler and now he gets a second shot on a one fight win streak over a young, one dimensional wrestler.”
    there probably wouldn’t be such an uproar.

    But he instead insinuated that Lyoto was the reason for low numbers, as opposed to questioning whether He might not be as big a draw as he supposes. Then states that no one wants to see the fight. Which is simply false as every message board on the internet is chock full of fans clamoring to see this rematch. People want to see the fight, and are willing to pay money for it. That’s where Jones is wrong.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Jones’ comments in & of themselves aren’t that interesting to me. As Soares responded earlier, a) it doesn’t matter what Jones thinks cuz he doesn’t get to pick who he fights, and b) the low PPV numbers could have been largely due to the fact the event took place outside the U.S. Ed suggested the PPV numbers are typically ~30% lower for non-domestic events. I have no idea how accurate that is, or how it may have affected that specific event, but something to consider if you’re interested in the marketing aspect of Jon Jones.

    But as a general point, I am in complete agreement that throwing Machida right back in against Jones is pretty underwhelming in terms of intrigue & overall appeal. Less than a year ago Machida was choked unconscious by Jones, and then he beat Ryan Bader. Am I missing something? The only reason to be excited about that rematch, this soon, is that there’s nothing else out there.

    So I was responding to the notion that droves of fans are clamoring to see Jones-Machida II. I don’t buy it. I think it’s driven by people wanting to bitch & moan about something Jon Jones said (so what else is new).

    Once the recent UFC on FOX event rolled around and it became evident the UFC was going to pick somebody, Lyoto became the guy almost by default, after running thru Bader which was one of the more easier predictions of the year. At that point I think we were pretty much all resigned to the fact Machida would be the next guy in line, given the lack of other options, but it’s not like there was any sort of anticipatory uproar… Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida – the rematch!! OMG!

    The reality is many fans (I would say the majority?) are hoping Hendo beats Jones, which of course would make Jones-Machida II a moot point. So that right there seems a bit contradictary… I mean, are you guys more excited at the prospect of Hendo beating Jones, or seeing Jones-Machida II? (And “both!” seems like a pretty disingenuous answer.)

    Anyway, once Jones started sqwauking about the lack of appeal of the Machida rematch, then people started to speak up…. “Oh, Jones said nobody wants to see Machida fight him again? Well I sure do!!!”

    I like Lyoto. I’ve long been a fan of his unique & brilliant style of fighting. But c’mon now; let’s deal in terms of reality.

    And MCM, lastly, you seem really hung up on the Jones’ marketability angle. You don’t seem at all convinced that he’s a big draw, and that perhaps many people just think he’s a douchey, boring, arrogant guy. But then you close your last comment with this:

    “Then [Jones] states that no one wants to see the fight. Which is simply false as every message board on the internet is chock full of fans clamoring to see this rematch. People want to see the fight, and are willing to pay money for it. That’s where Jones is wrong.”

    This also seems a bit contradictory? Did Machida all of a sudden steal Brock Lesnar’s mojo? Suddenly everyone is clamoring to see him fight? Again, not buying.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    I’m not “hung up” on the marketability of Jones, I’m just responding to it in a thread about the marketability of Jones. This entire story is about Jones and his PPV numbers, where else am I supposed to remark upon it?

    Jones insinuated that the reason his numbers were low in his fight with Lyoto was BECAUSE of Lyoto. I’ve shown that Machida draws good numbers, you’ve shown that there were other factors involved in those numbers. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to presume that the drop in PPV buys may be do to several factors, one of which COULD be Jones’s own drawing power. (again, not trying to dog on Jones, just asking a question and posing a hypothesis related to the story.)

    For the record, I’m not clamoring for a Jones/Machida rematch. I didn’t think Machida deserved the first shot and I sure as hell don’t think he deserves the second. But I’m not going to go out in public and state that NO ONE wants to see the fight when all I had to do was pay attention to any MMA conversation after the fight was announced to know that it isn’t true. And I sure as hell wouldn’t try to back it up with shoddy ass arithmetic that anyone with access to Google can shoot down.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I’ll try to keep this one shorter…

    1) Obviously the “no one” part of the comment by Jones wasn’t meant to be taken literally, but rather a reflection of the fact their first bout was apparently Jones’ lowest rated title fight.

    Message board chatter is great and might suggest there’s a ton of interest in this fight but, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Why there would be more interest in the 2nd fight, after Jones beat him decisively less than a year ago, is tough to figure. Sure, Lyoto didn’t embarrass himself, and put together a decent 1st round, but this wasn’t exactly Silva-Sonnen I where there was any doubt at the conclusion of the bout.

    If Jones hadn’t come out & voiced his dissatisfaction with this potential rematch, no one would be talking about it… in other words, people are responding more with regard to their feelings towards Jones than their excitement at seeing Jones-Machida II. Once it comes time to actually shell out the $$ for the PPV I think this will become more obvious.

    2) I think Jones’ general point is that facing Lyoto Machida about a year after he already beat doesn’t make much sense for a variety of reasons, one of which is the fans didn’t tune in to watch that matchup the first time around (again, relatively speaking of course).

    As for his own personal drawing power, I don’t think Jones is implying anything in either direction. I get the impression he’s perfectly willing (and probably prefers) to let his opponent run his mouth and sell the fight & drive up his share of the PPV revenue for him, a la Rashad Evans. At the same time, I would imagine that Jones is pretty proud of his track record and believes his accomplishments & place in the sport do plenty to sell a fight. Hell, none of the current UFC champions are worried about selling fights themselves. None of them are loud when it comes to promoting their fights. They’re already at the top of the mountain; let the other guys trying to get their position on the way to the top make the noise for them. It’s pretty logical that Jones recognizes Machida isn’t the type of opponent that will offer that.

    Well, I failed at keepin this short, so I’ll ramble a bit further…

    Imagine if Jones had come out and instead said something like, “If I beat Henderson I’m anxioius to fight Machida again…he deserves another title shot, it’s the fight the fans are asking for, and it’s going to do huge PPV numbers!”

    Something tells me the message board banter would look something more like this…

    Jones is cocky & looking past Hendo!

    Machida only won a single fight and is lucky to be getting another title shot so soon!

    Not gonna waste my money on another f*cking rematch!

    Jon Jones is young and a bit immature and doesn’t communicate very well. But it’s become very predictable that whatever he says, the message boards are gonna light up in opposition to whatever he said.

    And that’s my basic point – the only reason people are (pretending to be) clamoring for Jones-Machida II is that Jones was very blunt in stating that people didn’t want to see it. In reality, it’s a decent matchup that is the best of the few available options, that will likely end up with relatively low PPV numbers unless paired up with a sexy co-main event.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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