Sometimes a fighter’s relationship with the media can be a love-hate kind of thing.
Not every fighter likes doing interviews, while others relish the role and have fun with it. Pencil UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones more towards the side of looking at media as part of the business, which is why he’s not engaging in too much back and forth with his opponent coming up this weekend at UFC 135.
On Saturday night during the UFC Fight Night 25 broadcast, Jones and challenger Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson appeared for an interview segment with commentator Joe Rogan. Some accused Jones of being timid, and that it was apparent Rampage was already in his head going into their fight this weekend.
Jones argues that he wasn’t intimidated or out done in the interview because that’s not what he was there to do.
“I don’t know, maybe because I took the backseat to the conversation, who knows?” Jones answered when asked to the reaction from the interview.
“Ultimately, I’m very, very aware of why I’m here. I’m not here to show that I’m a better talker, show that I’m better at arguing, show that I’m better at insulting, that’s not my mission. My mission is the night of Sept. 24.“
Heading into the fight, Jones has done limited media obligations, which was a similar road taken as he prepared for his fight with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua earlier this year. Jones looks at interviews and conference calls as part of his responsibility, but not something he’s exactly jumping up and down about doing.
“To be honest if I had it my way, I’d probably do very, very limited media as possible, but this stuff is recommended by Dana White and it’s somewhat mandatory, so I’m strictly doing my job,” Jones stated.
Looking at the pre-fight interviews that Jackson has done, the former light heavyweight champion hasn’t been short on words for Jones. While Rampage isn’t holding his tongue about the champion, Jones doesn’t see a need to retaliate.
The only thing that got under Jones’ skin this entire time was the ‘Spygate’ situation from a few weeks back. Rampage had accused Jones and his management team of having an informant within his training camp, reporting back to them with everything that was going on at the Musclepharm Facility in Colorado.
“The only thing that bothered me initially was the Spygate situation,” Jones said on Monday. “It wasn’t necessarily the situation, it was the fact that fans actually considered the fact that I would try to pay someone, first of all find someone to go to his camp and then pay someone and try to get Rampage to trust them and all this ludicrousness, I thought that was pretty interesting that the fans thought I would do something like that.”
Jones of course rebuked the idea that he would ever have a spy in someone’s camp, but he admitted that it bothered him when the accusations got thrown around.
Beyond that moment however, Jones says that Rampage’s taunts have fallen on deaf ears.
“Outside of that, nothing has bothered me,” Jones commented. “I’m aware of what I’m up against. I’m aware of the character that I’m up against.”
Jones will get another dose of Rampage later today when they both appear on the Jimmy Kimmel show before heading to Denver for the UFC 135 pre-fight press conference later this week. The fight may only be a few days away, but the talking isn’t over just yet.