Jon Jones is already one of the greatest fighters ever, and certainly has plenty of fans and admirers, but there’s no denying the 27 year-old champ has a ton of haters as well. Why is that? Well according to UFC commentator and accomplished martial artist Joe Rogan, racism could play a factor.
Now Jones has been known to make a boastful statement or two, but that’s definitely not unusual in a sport where the objective is to render your opponent unconscious, or force them to tap before their limb is ruined.
Here is some of what the commentator and comedian had to say:
“I don’t know why Jon is not more loved or popular than he is,” Rogan said. “I don’t understand it. In my opinion, I will never miss a Jon Jones f***ing pay-per-view. I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, he’s cocky. He’s this and [that].’ I wonder what the f**k is going on with that and I’m going to throw this out there, I’m just going to say it: I wonder how much of it is racism. I really do.
“You know why? Because I think they look at him as this cocky black guy and I think a lot of people have an issue with that. I think that if he was a white guy and he was doing the same thing, a la a Chael Sonnen, I think he would be way more popular. Chael was never the successful athlete that Jon is, but I think Chael was way more successful as a promoter than Jon is. Jon has not been nearly as cocky or outwardly braggadocious as Chael was.”
Pretty hard to argue with the point regarding Sonnen, as the “American Gangster” was as cocky as it gets and many loved him for it. Rogan also rightfully points out that it’s hard not to be a little boastful, when you’re one of the baddest men to walk on the planet.
Jones has also received flack, it’s worth noting, for posting smack talk on various social media platforms and then deleting it. But those actions have been criticized by observers who have also praised Jones at the same time.
Now Rogan isn’t saying that if you dislike Jones you’re racist. That’s important to understand, and he’s not the first person to raise this important question. He’s also bang on about not missing a Jones PPV. After all, how could you be a serious, hard core MMA fan and not tune into watch the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighter? Barring financial considerations of course and you simply can’t afford it.
Consider who Jones could face in 2015. Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson and or possibly Anthony Johnson. Anyone care to miss any of those fights? Anyone? Anyone at all?
Jones is currently recovering from a knee injury and is scheduled to fight Cormier, January 3rd at UFC 182.