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UFC Light Heavyweight Jon Jones Speaks Out on UFC 151 Controversy

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has faced a mountain of criticism in the wake of UFC 151’s cancellation. The champion has remained relatively quiet on the situation until recently. “Bones” sat down with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani to talk about the fallout and his future following the event’s demise. The 41-minute interview can be seen below but portions of the interview’s transcript have been posted before the video.

Jones on why he did not take the fight:

“The main reason I didn’t take the fight is basically because I talked to my head coach, my muay thai coach and my boxing coach, they know my weaknesses and strengths, they know how my muscles react. Each coach said, straight away that they think I can win the fight but they ALSO said that the want me to be aware that the styles a different, They have different kinds of clinch games, different takedowns… I’m not going to go through all the details of his game because it will sound tacky to those who don’t understand fighting but to some it up, Chael Sonnen is a southpaw, has different takedowns, different subs, different ground and pound, he’s just a completely different warrior. Taking the fight would be ignorant.”

On whether there was any fighter he would have agreed to face on short notice:

“The only guy I would’ve fought on short notice is Rashad Evans because his style is so similar to Dan Henderson’s. Rashad Evans is a guy who is a good wrestler, has good scrambles in certain positions, has a huge overhand right, his left isn’t really dangerous but it’s there. Anyone else I would’ve said no, you can’t pick fights based on your emotions. I can’t put a multi-million dollar career and title on the line because someone is talking about my momma.”

On Sonnen trying to talk his way into a title shot:

“Another thing I’ve said in the past is that I said I would never allow Sonnen to jump the line by using his mouth and what was he doing? Jumping the line by using his mouth. The guy is a straight punk.”

“When he retires, there wont be any meaningful quotes from him, it will just be silliness all from a guy who likes to troll people.”

On the criticism he has received since the cancellation:

“I fought four times in ten months, at times I didn’t know if I’d win those fights because I was doing so much for the UFC, I do tons of things that I don’t get paid for but putting my livelihood on the line? You can’t ask me to do that, they should’ve understood that and kept the card going.”

“All the fighters that are insulting me on the card, I’m not the one who is saying that you’re not good enough for pay per view.”

“I felt like a piece of meat.”

On his relationship with UFC President Dana White:

“It’s good to know where I stand with Dana White, I don’t want a fake relationship with anybody.”

“I haven’t talked to Dana White, I’ll let him calm down then talk to him. He has his reasons to be upset but I think he has to realize that I have a reason too. I thought he would be more supportive. He thinks I’m scared of Sonnen? I’m not scared, it’s about being smart.”

“My job is not to be popular among fighters, I could care less if any fighter liked me or not, my job is to show up, do my job and go back home.”

On the rumor that he asked White to keep Sonnen from talking trash:

“…that is totally not true, regarding this pro wrestling guy who made this article… can he just make a bogus article like that? That is totally not true, I’ve dealt with Rampage, Rashad why would I do that? It’s not true.”

“Chael Sonnen will not be remembered as the all time greats, he’ll be known as the guy who lost to Anderson Silva and didn’t look good doing it. Every time he gets the opportunity, he comes up short. Keep getting your twitter followers up.”

Jones on the high amount of hatred he receives on a daily basis:

“People who are insulting me… you know sometimes it’s really funny because the jokes are so clever. Sometimes it’s DUI, sometimes it’s people calling me “151 Killer.” I have a big hate fan base, when people hate on me, they’re showing me how much they care about me. My haters know more about me than my supports do, it’s really touching.”

“When you’re hated, you know you’re doing something right. Lebron James, people HATE him, but the dude is still paid, he’s a champion, he’s happy he’s got his family. It just comes with the job. I just focus on the people that love me and realize my message.”

“It’s about changing lives. If I can inspire one person to live happier, be more confident, find Christ, I’ve done my job. If that comes with an army of haters, it’s all good!”

On his comments to former training partner, and UFC 145 opponent, Rashad Evans training Vitor Belfort and his 152 bout with Belfort:

“I did it when I was bored after practice, what I meant by my tweet to Rashad is ‘dude, why are you training Vitor when he’s fighting for what you want?’ Are you going to fight him like you fought me? Or are you going to move down to middleweight.”

“Vitor Belfort is an honorable respectful dude and former UFC champion, I think it’s a better fight than Dan Henderson, has better boxing and is a MUCH harder fight.”

“He doesn’t necessarily deserve the shot but I’m honored to fight him and it’s a really hard fight, he’s a worthy opponent.”

On a possible future fight with Sonnen:

“I’m not [disappointed] they didn’t book the Chael fight, his time will come and when it does, I’m going to beat him SILLY, I’m going to beat him SILLY.”

“My Mom is very sick and she has an illness where she has come close to not being here several times so to insult my parents is too far. The guy has no class, insulting Anderson Silva’s wife, but people like that! People call me ‘p—-‘ but… OK! That just goes to show that I can’t take too many people seriously.”

On any regrets:

“I don’t regret my decision. The only thing I regret in my career is the whole DIU incident. It’s really woken me up and made me mature myself more.”

“The truth lives for ever and the truth about the 151 situation, the people that use logic and their minds to review the situation know I made the right call.”

“It’ll be awkward to talk to Dana leading up to the fight but I’m excited for the fight.”

Special thanks to for the transcript

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