At UFC 151, Jon “Bones” Jones was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson. Unfortunately, about one week before their fight, Henderson pulled out with a knee injury that he sustained during training. UFC President Dana White went scrambling for a new opponent and was hoping he could save the card. White proposed that Chael Sonnen be the one to step in for Henderson. However Jones refused to fight Sonnen for a variety of reasons.
Since that decision, light-heavyweight champ has gotten a ton of backlash from people in the media, White himself and from fans around the country. It’s tough to blame Jones but many have. The poster boy of the sport will be back in action at UFC 152 where he is scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort. Perhaps reminding everyone around the country why he is arguably the top fighter pound-for-pound in the UFC will silence his new critics.
Jon Jones joined the Fan 590 in Toronto with Sid Seixeiro to talk about how he became a Def Leppard fan, if he is healthy right now considering everyone else in the UFC is getting hurt, whether he would do things different when it comes to UFC 151 given the backlash he has received, how surprised he was that Dana White made the disparaging comments that he did and if he thinks Dana White put him in a bad spot by offering him a different fight for UFC 151.
How he became a Def Leppard fan:
“I have to say that I’m a huge supporter of those guys. What happened was Phil Collen, he came to practice yesterday and he just expressed to me and Greg Jackson how big of a fan or martial arts he was and so he watched us do jujitsu and then he watched me do some muay thai practice and he loved it. He actually brought his muay thai teacher along with him and then after practice he invited me and Greg to watch a concert. When I showed up to the concert he had said ‘hey man I’d like to get a nice workout in before I go on stage just so I have a little pump in my muscle’ so he was like ‘would you mind doing some light movement with me and showing me some techniques?’ And I said ‘absolutely.’ So we ended up working out and we had a great time, a great chemistry and I want to consider him a lifelong friend. (Host: Was there Def Leppard on your I-Pod previously and will there be in the future?) There is definitely going to be some sugar pouring in my future for sure.”
Whether he is healthy right now considering all the injuries in the sport lately:
“I don’t want to jinx myself. Right now the UFC is going through a hard time with injuries but it’s the sport world and we are physical combatants and injuries are inevitable so fortunately I’m not injured. I want to stay freed up and keep my fish oil, train smart and hopefully I will be just fine after the night of September 22nd. To answer your question I feel like a million bucks.”
Whether he would do things difficult when it comes to UFC 151 given the backlash he has received:
“I wouldn’t have done it any differently. Part of being in the position I am in, I have to be able to make major decisions. With every major decision there are always going to be people who think it’s an awesome decision and other people are going to simply hate you for it, but either way if I feel in my heart I made the right decision then I have to be a man and stand by that decision. That’s basically what I’m doing here today, standing by the decision to not compete at UFC 151 due to an opponent change. We’re also fighting at a very high level and there is a lot on the line here and I want to make sure I give myself the best chances and odds of being successful so I stand by what I’ve done. Another thing is I think a lot of people are going to watch the fight due to all the hype that’s around UFC 151. There’s a lot of controversy and a lot of people whispering and talking and no press is bad press give or take.”
How surprised he was that Dana White made the disparaging comments that he did in the aftermath of UFC 151:
“It surprised me a lot to have Dana try to belittle me like that but it happens and Dana is a very emotional guy and he spoke from his heart and a little bit out of anger. I forgive him for it. He hasn’t apologized but I forgive him and I’m just ready to move forward. Being the golden boy is a lot of pressure and right now some of the fans want to consider me a little bit of a villain and it actually took a lot of pressure off my shoulders and allows me to just focus on being myself and just competing at the highest level. A lot of fans have an honest assessment of who they believe I am and I will fight for those guys.”
Whether he feels he was put in a bad spot by Dana White:
“I think I was. I’m a world champion and not only is there millions of dollars on the line but there’s extreme high level competition. There’s no one that will make it to a world championship level stage by fighting bums. Everyone at that level is high level. To throw me in there as a world champ against a complete opposite opponent that I hadn’t been preparing for and to expect me to just roll the dice, that’s a little unfair. You basically put my whole livelihood on the line to make other people happy and at the end of the day if I would’ve came up short I wouldn’t have been champion anymore and I doubt anyone would’ve lost sleep over it but me and my family so I believe that I made the right decision and my family believes I made the right decision and that’s all that matters.”