Prior to the UFC‘s tenth visit to Toronto the youngest champion in the organization’s history had to field some tough questions at a press-conference promoting UFC 152 before facing a tough opponent in the form of Vitor Belfort. All in all, Jon Jones handled each inquiry with brevity and a sometimes a bit of humor as well. He seemed calm and did not balk at any of the questions that hinted at the UFC 151 debacle.
When Jones was asked to comment on the status of his relationship with UFC President Dana White, he replied, “Dana White is awesome, I’ve said before Dana White is a passionate guy…I forgive Dana White for any insults he may have given me…The two of us not being on the same page doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Jones went on to say that, “I feel really horrible about I’m not a UFC executive I have zero power to cancel an event. When I talked to Dana and Joe about the Sonnen fight, they never told me that if I didn’t take the fight the event would be cancelled…Everything I have been through in my life has led me to this point. It sounds selfish but when you work so hard for something you work so hard to protect it. I did what was right for myself…and I’m grateful that I did decline that fight because now I get to perform for you guys here in Canada.”
The 25-year old title-holder addressed the mixed feelings that some fans have expressed regarding his turning down of the Chael Sonnen fight by stating that he feels he accepted the tougher of the two opponents by taking the match with Belfort.
“I do believe that with a good performance I can put this past me…for the people that refuse to forget I don’t know what to say about that, life’s about moving forward…I believe that the fans are going to get over it,” explained Jones.
Regarding the topic of training, Jones was asked about how the short time to switch gears and refocus his camp might affect his performance.
“No, ya know I’m a guy that really prides myself on having great cardio and ya know havin’ solid game plans and really knowing what I’m getting into. And I went into that Dan Henderson fight fully prepared to go five rounds if it went that way,” he began, continuing, “And havin’ the fight cancelled I definitely had to switch up a lot of the things I was working, like angles in boxing a plans of attack…Giving myself a four-week bonus training time has really pushed me to a different level with the martial artist that I am. So right now I feel faster than ever I feel quicker than ever. My technique and my game plan is really set in stone… We were really able to focus on martial arts training…I actually took off from weight lifting and really focused on martial arts training. I am really expecting to go out there and fight a lot cleaner…I had a phenomenal additional four weeks.”
The panel as a whole was asked what fans could expect when tuning in or attending tomorrow night’s show and Jones’ response was particularly telling, admitting, “Even if I get booed, I’m still happy to be here. I’m going to put on the best show possible for you guys.”
Whatever your thoughts are on Jones, it is evident that with his age and being thrust under the spotlight of fame rather rapidly as the new face of the UFC, he demonstrated a bit of grace with his answers although he is still certainly learning as he goes.
Check out the full presser below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC