The time where we will find out something new about UFC Lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones is coming. Jones, the UFC’s youngest and perhaps their most dominant champion defends his title against all time great Dan Henderson in a fight that sees Jones favored at a -600 at the sportsbooks. The match takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 1st as the main event of UFC 151.
There are two things that will eventually defeat all dominant champions. Time and change. Well, Jones is still in his mid twenties, and on the early side of his career, so time is not a factor in the traditional sense. But since winning the championship and running thru a tough division, things will certainly have changed for Jon Jones when he arrives in Vegas for fight week at the end of August.
Increasingly Jones has been crossing over and getting main stream attention, the type of TMZ attention where he is seen with others stars and involves casinos and bars and girls. Hey, he is a young man at the top of his game, go for it, but can Jones handle it?
The first black eye came when Jones ran his Bentley into a pole in the wee hours of the morning, with a couple of girls in tow. He paid through the system and has a suspended drivers license to show for it. But along with it came a heap of negative attention, really the first he has experienced in his career.
But he has never had a black mark like that for all the press and the people to ask him about during the week of the big fight. Reporter after reporter will bring it up, did it affect him, does he have a drinking problem, blah blah blah.
Or what about the drunk fan the day before the weigh ins, the guy with his hat on crooked and sunglasses inside the casino? ’Jon, I support ya man, come on, let me buy you a beer.’ Jones to be polite declines and poses for pics, while the loaded guy insists four more times, ‘Jon I got your next beer’. I can just picture it.
Another big development in Jones’ life is his signing a deal with NIKE for international representation. This makes him probably the top earner in endorsements in all of MMA, and is something the other athletes in MMA definitely have noticed.
Drink up the endorsements, more money more lifestyle. Handle it well, and you could be the next Floyd Mayweather. Or the next Ryan Leaf.
The point is Jones will be going to the UFC for his next fight as clearly the biggest star, with the most attention and scrutiny. He has excelled at flying under the radar when it comes to outside things, but that is not the case anymore and Jones will feel a whole different type of pressure this next time around. This is a big change.
Ask Nick Diaz if he enjoys being asked about pot smoking now everywhere he goes.
‘Hey Jon, bro, I got your next beer right here bro’.