Jones has made comments recently about his taking a stand for himself in turning down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen to try and save the UFC 151 main event, much to the ire of UFC president Dana White.
Many have compared Jones’ stance to that often taken by Tito Ortiz over his lengthy career. Not that Ortiz was know for turning down fights, but he was known for taking a stand for himself, not leaving it to someone else to determine the course of his career.
Ortiz often times was looked upon as an anti-company man, not just accepting what was handed him, frequently fighting for not just added money on his contracts, but also percentages of pay-per-views, the rights to his image and brand, and the like.
He has always justified his actions by indicating that yes, he was standing up for himself, but also for fairness in negotiations for other fighters, as well.
Jones has insinuated that for Ortiz it was about the money, whereas it isn’t for him.
Jones’ end game may or may not be about the money, but his recent words to The Associated Press seem very similar to those often uttered by Ortiz.
“I had to do what’s right for myself by turning down that fight, Dana had to do what was right for himself by putting the blame on everyone else except for himself,” Jones told the AP. “The lesson to be learned is, at the end of the day, you have to protect yourself and your family.”
For his part, Ortiz, prior to Jones’ AP interview, had taken umbrage to Jones’ insinuations that it was mostly about the money for the former UFC light heavyweight champion.
“I took a lot of flack for negotiating and battling for what I believed in,” Ortiz told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive extended interview. “It wasn’t a factor of talking about money. It was a factor of what I thought I was worth. I was trying to raise the bar for all fighters, and I think I’ve done that. For (Jones) to say the things he’s saying, don’t disrespect me like that.”
At the end of the day, Ortiz is still a fan of Jon Jones, but didn’t take kindly to the comments Jones has made.
“I was just disappointed, very, very disappointed with Jon. Maybe the stardom is getting to his head.”
Jones and White have yet to speak about the UFC 151 cancellation fallout and their relationship, but the two will be on a Tuesday media conference call together, promoting the upcoming UFC 152 fight card for Toronto.
Ortiz often bore the burden of a rough relationship with White, whether or not that burden falls upon Jones as well will only be realized over time.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more UFC news and updates.