There have been countless pages written in the past week-and-a-half pertaining to UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones’ refusal to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 on short notice and the subsequent domino effect of his decision. However, Jones has finally opted to give an in-depth interview on the matter where he addressed every imaginable topic including his reaction to being blasted by UFC President Dana White and much more.
According to Jones, he was under the impression he had a good relationship with White on even a personal level before being thrown under the bus as a scapegoat for the card being cancelled.
“It really hurt…I don’t complain about money, I do what I’m told. I’m the champion who fights way more than any other champion,” said a disappointed Jones in an interview with The MMA Hour. “I just thought I meant a lot more to him. I really did. I didn’t really look at him like a boss. I looked at him like a friend, like a business partner. I thought I meant a lot to the UFC and they made me feel like a piece of meat.”
“It’s just good to see where I stand with him. There’s no need to have any type of fake relationship in the future. I’m gonna try and do my best for the UFC but it’s good to see what I mean to him,” Jones continued, also revealing the two haven’t spoken since the incident.
As far as the fury he received from fellow fighters, Jones made it clear the finger of blame should be pointed elsewhere since he’s not a UFC executive.
“UFC is known for having beautiful fight cards, from top to bottom…even the undercard. Why wasn’t that the case,” asked Jones rhetorically. “I love MMA on all levels. So for all the fighters who are pissed at me…don’t be pissed at me, I wasn’t the one who basically said you weren’t good enough to PPV.”
Jones also elaborated that he doesn’t actually care about what outsiders think about him so long as he, his family, and his teammates are okay with how he’s handling things.
“My job is not to be popular amongst fighters. The fighters don’t pay my paychecks. The fighters aren’t buying Jon ‘Bones’ Jones T-Shirts. That’s not my job to take care of fighters,” the 25-year old explained. “I could really care less if any fighter in the UFC likes me or not. My job is to go there, show up once or twice, three times a year, and do my job and go back home.”
With a fight against Vitor Belfort currently scheduled for September 22, Jones has turned his focus towards the bout and attempted to move on from the mess surrounding UFC 151. While he doesn’t necessarily feel Belfort should be on the receiving end of a title-shot, his appreciation for the Brazilian’s past accomplishments has him excited about the upcoming clash.
“No, I don’t think he necessarily deserves one but I’m honored to fight him. He’s a great guy, a hard working guy…I respect Vitor Belfort a lot. I’m honored to fight him. I think he’s definitely a worthy opponent,” said Jones.
“I’m not disappointed,” Jones added when asked if he’d hoped he would see Sonnen in the Octagon instead of Belfort after being publicly insulted a number of times by the silver-tongued scrapper. “Chael will get his time and when his time comes, I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna beat that man silly. I really will. I really will.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC