With the cancellation of UFC 151 came the humbling of a young man whose head was about to pop. That man, Jon Jones. Don’t get me wrong, if I was in his position, at his age, I would probably think I was unstoppable too. Money and fame can be a lethal mix. You can take the high road and stay the wide eyed excited kid who loves the sport, or you can take the low road and make all the wrong choices, spiral out of control and end up way worse than where you began. I feel that Jones kind of coasted in between, but has come out on top, humbled by what has happened over the last few months, right up until UFC 152. Of course there was the DUI, then the whole cancellation fiasco and of course almost getting submitted in the first round via armbar by Vitor Belfort in the main event at UFC 152. A trifecta that probably made him think.
At the post-fight press conference, Jones even talked about making a lot of stupid mistakes. After all that’s what your 20s are for. Being and idiot and learning from it, so hopefully you don’t do whatever it was (you did) again. Unfortunately, there’s a list the length from here to the moon, but that’s okay, you’ve got a decade to figure it out. But let’s get serious, Jones is doing very well for himself, and contrary to popular belief, he is human, and not perfect. Mistakes are inevitable.
It seems he was coached very well on what to expect. The negativity were there, but he handled it like a champ. He seemed to be humbled and to have shed the layer of cockiness that has appeared over the last little while. Fans did boo, but a lot cheered and were happy to see a superstar, regardless of what he did. Look at Tiger Woods. It’s a matter of separating business with pleasure. Sure they messed up but, wow, are they ever good at what they do. There’s a lot of “I don’t like them as a person, but just as an athlete.” It seems as though Nike is all about second chances with their superstars, just as long as they deliver the goods.
It all came down to the very last walk out of UFC 152. Jones walked out to “Could You Be Loved” by the one and only Bob Marley. Even Jones said, “You can’t boo Bob Marley,” and he’s absolutely right. The even mix of cheers and jeers became the former when that feel good song filled the Air Canada Centre. It was a brilliant move on his part.
I’m a sucker for the underdog and deep down I was hoping for Belfort to win, but knew that wasn’t going to be the case. Before I knew it there was a glimmer of hope, but Jones’ trainer Greg Jackson trained that arm bar, and the champ eventually reigned supreme, keeping his title and at the end of all the hype and controversy, probably winning over the fans new and old.