The former UFC heavyweight and Ultimate Fighter contestant gave an interesting insight into why the Jon Jones we see take on Daniel Cormier this weekend may not be the same fighter who was so dominant in the 205lb division in the past.
UFC 214 is now just days away and though the card is stacked from top-to-bottom with some truly amazing matchups, the real spectacle will begin when heated rivals Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones finally get their chance to allow over two years of tension out over the course of the scheduled twenty-five minutes in the main event.
Cormier, the champ, is in the process of carving his own legacy as the ruler of light-heavyweight division. In the time since his defeat to Jones – the only loss of his otherwise stellar career – he has beaten Anthony Johnson (twice), Alexander Gustaffson and the legendary Anderson Silva and though ‘Bones’ will tell you that his claim to the belt is a hollow one, DC has done more than enough in his absence to solidify his spot as a future hall-of-famer.
The grudge that exists between these two men goes beyond mere rivalry or competitiveness and despite the fact that it was the former-champ Jones whose hand was raised the last time they met, the road he has taken towards getting back into the position he now finds himself in has been a long and winding one.
The troubles in Jones’ personal life are well-documented at this stage but in a recent edition of his Big Brown Breakdown podcast, MMA personality and former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub put forth the idea that it could have been the chaos and self-destructive aspects of Jon’s personality that made him such a great to begin with.
As a fighter, ‘Bones’ possesses all the athleticism and core skills to compete at a world-class level but the thing that really set him apart during his rise was the wild, unpredictable and often reckless approach he would take to attacking his opponents. Spinning attacks, flying assaults and guard-pulls aplenty littered the earlier section of his career up until his ‘hiatus’ of sorts in recent times and though he himself maintains that he is in the best shape of his life both physically and mentally, Schaub voiced concerns about how the significant changes to his lifestyle may hamper his creativity mid-fight.
“The whole thing with this is, which Jon Jones shows up? When people go ‘ah, he’s been dedicated, he’s in camp now, he’s eating his veggies, meat and potatoes, he’s ready to go.’ Is that the best Jon?”
“Does Jon need to be wild? Does he need to be out with hookers at two in the morning? Does he need to show up the next day, maybe a little hungover, loosey-goosey, not living all of the pressure of this fight so he can be this creative martial artist that he is.”
“I dont know man. There are great musicians and one of the reasons they’re great is because they’re up until three in the morning doing drugs and living this wild life. If you force them to live at a desk in a suit are they as creative? Nope!”
“I think Jon is one of those guys.”
It’s an interesting angle to approach all of this from, but if last night’s press conference was anything to go by, it does seem as though Jon is completely motivated by the idea of reclaiming his title from the man who at this stage is by far and away his most heated-rival, try as he might to claim otherwise.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena