For a long time, UFC light- heavyweight champion Jon Jones took offence at being called arrogant.
“Bones”, the youngest champion in UFC history, will attempt to defend his world title this weekend for a record-breaking seven times. He’s a relaxed character, who’s confident in his abilities. That may be the reason why Jones has been branded cocky or arrogant in the past.
At first, the label used to bother the 26-year-old, but after a three-and-a-half year reign as the light-heavyweight champion, he told FOX Sports that he’s grown to accept it:
“I think I am. I think I am a little arrogant. I think it’s really important. The thing about me I say all the time is, I notice that I’m full of myself and I am arrogant to some degree, but it’s obviously only when it comes to talking about MMA, where literally, I do the wildest stuff. I don’t think I live like a celebrity at all. All my friends are normal people, normal dudes who do the most normal stuff all the time. But when it comes to MMA, there is a big chip on my shoulder.
There is a way that I look at myself, and I think it’s really, really important. It’s something I’m not really apologetic for. As I get older and as I win more, I start to embrace it even more. The biggest thing is not to be apologetic for it. I realize it’s a big part of the reason I’m able to perform out there. The moment I let fear seep is the moment the fights start getting closer and closer. So yeah, I think it’s important to be an absolute believer and have that confidence.”
However, some of that arrogance may have been lost by Jones at UFC 165 where he narrowly managed to take a decision over Alexander Gustafsson. “Bones” and Gustafsson fought for five hard rounds, which ultimately had to go to the judges to decide a winner.
Jones won the contest but when an immediate rematch between the two was being arranged, the champ opted to arrange a bout Glover Teixeira instead. Teixeira vs. Jones takes place this weekend in the main event of UFC 172.
I guess we will have to wait until Saturday night to see if Jones’ arrogance stays with him.