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Change in Perception: Has Jon Jones Won Back his Fans with UFC 152 Performance?

Hot off the heels of UFC 152 are there still fans out there grumbling about Jon Jones? To answer simply – yes. Is it warranted? Well, that’s the part that’s not as easy to answer.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to claim that Jones’ actual victory over Vitor Belfort holds any kind of true merit. Not to take anything away from “The Phenom,” but if we are honest with ourselves, Jones beating Belfort doesn’t really “cement his legacy.” The only historical outcome that would’ve mattered at the conclusion of that fight is if Jones hadn’t slipped that armbar and Vitor would’ve broken the champ, or if Vitor had been able to get inside and do some damage with his striking, thus KO’ing the younger Jones.

Prior to the event Jones was quoted at the press conference as saying, “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.”

I don’t believe that’s the case either…at least not yet. Too fresh in the minds of many MMA fans is the perception (fair or unfair though it may be) that Jones ducked the offer of a fight against Chael Sonnen.

“Not only can I handle adversity inside the cage but outside the cage as well,” Jones stated following his fight with Belfort.

It’s a fair statement to say that an armbar by a Jiu Jitsu black belt qualifies as adversity. But does that impress the fans that largely may have turned on Jones? If the UFC 151 cancellation did anything it’s remind us that Jones isn’t perfect. In fact, that disaster may have only served to reignite memories of Jones’s misstep with a DUI earlier this year, further alienating fans. The cancellation of a PPV pales in comparison to drunk driving, even if the only victim was a tree.

So do we care that Jones beat out the background noise of those that say he’s a classic case of too much-to soon? Right now, the only conceivable answer is: it can’t hurt. In all likelihood, Jones would have had an even greater exodus of fans had he dropped the strap to Belfort this past weekend.

The heart of the matter is MMA fans need to be more realistic. As the history of MMA grows, so will the poor decisions, and questionable actions of its human athletes- no different than any other sport. Time will be the true test of whether Jones has truly matured from a rash, naïve celebrity to an analytical, seasoned champ.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

2 COMMENTS
  • darth_irritable says:

    He hasn’t converted me.

    I always have, and continue to recognize his amazing skillset and natural ability, but as a person, I find him repellant.

    I do believe that once he’s had a humbling in the ring, he’ll start to turn course, but right now, the douchery just seems overwhelming. Clearly he didn’t learn from the DUI, and it’s kinda tragic it’s going to take a beating to help him learn.

    I get he’s young, dumb and full of cum. Hell, at his age, I was a dick too, but not THAT bad.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    Personally I just didn’t think as a young star athelete with kids who look up to him and stuff that he should have said to Rogan during those interviews that he was glad the DUI thing happen?!? because of what he learned from it or some shit… listen I was young and dumb and had to learn shit the hard way BUT I’m not going to sit back and tell ppl yeah i’m glad bad things happen so that I could learn from it and appreciate good things happening… just kinda sounds dumb to me.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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