Jon Jones doesn't always see 'eye to eye' with the UFC'
The expectation would be that the UFC would want to capitalize on Jones' marketability and push his upcoming seventh title defense with gusto. If that doesn't happen, Jones doesn't seem as if he will be all that surprised. When asked where he thought he stood in the current landscape of UFC marketing Jones was unsure and unworried, "We don't always see
eye to eye with the UFC, so I don't know if they are always necessarily pushing me and whether that's a smart idea on their end or not, who knows? I do know that they are pushing Ronda Rousey really hard, and she's gotten a lot of great opportunities. I don't know what they're going to do, but I'm pushing myself all the time so, I'm not really worried."
When asked why he thought that was, why a fighter that has broken multiple records in his division, and is currently sitting at No. 1 in the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings wouldn't be the UFC's most heavily promoted fighter, Jones responded, "I know that I'm a lot different from some of the guys from the past. Guys like Chuck Liddell, and guys like Matt Hughes that would just get up and do anything, anytime, and never voice their opinion. I'm trying to change a lot of things in the game. Making sure the fighters are being respected, making sure our own brands are being respected, things like that. We just don't always see eye to eye on everything, either way it works out."
That pound-for-pound ranking is something that Jones is proud of, "It is very rewarding, it makes me feel like I earned something, being number one in the world is a rare thing, I'm aware of that, and it's something that I cherish a lot."
As much as he cherishes and is proud of that ranking, Jones knows that the ranking can be a fleeting thing and that he will ultimately be judged by what he does inside the Octagon, "I know that it's just words. Just like the belt is just a material thing. At the end of the day, I need to go out there and win fights. I need to go out there and train hard. I need to remain this ambitious fighter that I always have been because titles mean nothing when it comes to the event."
For those that scoff at the idea of the UFC belt just being a material thing, Jones made it clear that the title of champion that goes along with that belt is what is really important to him. That title also forced him to change in some ways, "I look at the belt as a material thing, but being the champion means so much more. Being the champion did change my psychology. I had to start working harder; I had to start training like a champion. I had to make a conscious decision to out train everyone in my gym every day."
"I can't tweet what everyone else tweets. I can't post pictures I want to post. I can't talk about some of the topics that I would like to talk about. I have to kind of put parts of myself on the back shelf in order to represent the word champion. It means a lot to me to be a champion both inside the Octagon and outside the Octagon. It's like a lifestyle to me."
"There's nothing that Glover can do in his training that's going to completely morph who he is," Jones said. "He can always learn a new move, but at his age, at this point in his career, mind you I'm just starting, I'm just five years into the game. I just started learning how to fight five years ago; Glover's been doing this since I was in high school. So, if he was meant to be amazing and great at this, he would have already been there, and I believe in this."
Jones made it clear that he isn't disrespecting Teixeira or dismissing him as a dangerous opponent, "I still have to respect him, and I have to remember that he can learn some new techniques for this fight, but he's still the same guy. His speed won't get that much faster, his strength, everything who he is is still going to be who he is."
After stating his opinion on Teixeira, Jones offered his take on where he stands in his development as a fighter, "With me I do feel that I'm a new fighter with a new attitude, different outlook on the sport, different outlook on myself, and I'm still like a baby, I feel like I'm a toddler in this sport, fighting a guy that's very set in his own ways."