Current interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones remains undefeated, while fellow UFC superstars Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey lost their last bouts.
“Bones” Jones lost the light heavyweight belt that he had defended eight times successfully. However, he didn’t lose it in a fight; rather, it was his antics outside of the octagon that lead to him losing his championship.
During a UFC 200 media lunch scrum, Jon Jones talked about fighting and his personal life. Eventually Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey came up. With Jon Jones included, they make up the top three biggest names in the UFC.
Jones spoke about why he remains undefeated and how believing the hype can lead to a downfall:
“I know that I can be beat and I think that’s why I haven’t been beat, where some of these guys really start to believe their hype,” Mr. Jones said.
“Ronda Rousey, they were saying she’s the best fighter of all time and best athlete in the world, stuff like that and I was happy for her to hear those types of accolades, but once I realized that maybe she was starting to believe it herself, I knew she was in a dangerous spot. Conor McGregor saying these things about just being the baddest dude and ‘I’ll beat anybody at any weight class,’ that’s foolish stuff. When you believe the hype to that level, that’s when you’re in danger.”
Prior to the Nate Diaz fight, Conor McGregor rejected the idea that Jon Jones is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, despite the official UFC rankings handing the undefeated Jones the spot:
“I’m number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,” McGregor said. “Maybe Jon and Mighty Mouse (Demetrious Johnson) is 10. That’s what I feel.”
While some feel that Conor McGregor’s comments are part of his showmanship, others believe that it is hubris.
Ronda Rousey also claimed that she could defeat Floyd Mayweather in a fight prior to being knocked out by Holly Holm with a ruthless head kick.
Jon Jones explains that he never underestimates any of his opponents, which has allowed him to stay undefeated. He goes on to explain how he meticulously studies his opponent’s previous fights to ensure he doesn’t fall victim to defeat.
“I talk about being confident in winning all the time, but the reason why I tend to always win is because at the end of the day I’m more nervous than any other fighter. It causes me to spend every night until 3 o’clock in the morning just on my laptop watching the same damn fight over and over again with a notebook, thinking about the ways I can lose, thinking about what I need to do. That’s really what I attribute to being undefeated for all these years, just how seriously I take it and how I know how much I don’t know.”
Jon Jones is set to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in a rematch to their UFC 182 blockbuster bout that earned the fighters a Fight of the Night bonus. This was also Jon Jones’ last fight before the hit and run incident that led to him losing his belt.
His returned this year with a dominant performance over Ovince Saint Preux. Fans criticized the lack of action during the fight, which many analysts attributed to ring rust.
Many now see that bout as a tune-up fight, which will benefit Jon Jones when he steps into the ring with Daniel Cormier this month.
After UFC 200, Conor McGregor also has a rematch with Nate Diaz and Ronda Rousey is yet to announce her next fight. Many believe she will fight old rival Miesha Tate in her comeback bout late this year or early in 2017.
[Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]