UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will appear as a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, uh, tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET. While Dana White is factually incorrect that Jones is the first UFC fighter to appear on the program (Quinton Jackson appeared last year, Tito Ortiz in 2003), Jones is the first fighter to appear on the show as a featured sit-down guest because of his success as a fighter. Jackson was in the middle of hyping the A-Team movie, while Ortiz performed an "on-site report" from Huntington Beach (and appeared briefly on stage for an introduction).
The Tonight Show, despite being toxic comedy, is still the most watched late night talk show according to TV By The Numbers. If this appearance is any indication, expect to see Jon Jones in tons of media outlets in the immediate future.
The sort of fame and notoriety that Jones will receive isn't without its pitfalls however. Dana White explained to MMA Junkie the challenges Jones will now have to face:
"His life is going to change in so many ways starting right now," White said. "It's actually scary. When you get to this point, I worry about guys. There's cling-ons all over, I'm sure, waiting to just [expletive] barnacle right on to him.
"He's going to have to make a lot of choices over the next couple of years - personally, professionally. He's in for a very wild, weird, crazy ride right now."
"He seems like a guy who's grounded enough and has the right people around him to handle it and go the right direction, but you never know," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "You never know what's going to happen. I'm telling you, you wait and see the people that start clinging on to Jon Jones - the dirtiest, nastiest, scuzziest, scummiest, most disgusting human beings on the face of the Earth will start to cling on to this guy and become barnacles and get in his ear and try to pull him in different directions. This is where it gets ugly."
It's always a good interview when Dana White uses the word "barnacle" twice. The man has a point, though. The bigger question for the team at Greg Jackson's may not be training Jones as a fighter, but training him to control his entourage and say "no" to people hanging on.
Check out video of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on the Tonight Show after the jump.