Phony: not genuine or real, intended to deceive or mislead. That is Webster's definition of phony. A word which, since being hurled by Rashad Evans towards Jon Jones, appears to have formed a life of it's own, with so called reporters and fans alike calling Jones a fake, most of whom have never met him and will probably never meet him.
Rashad's tweet about Jones:
“@ jonnybones is a Swagger Jacker!,” he continued. “@ jonnybones will b mma's version of Milli Vinilli.. Wait until the curtain comes down cuz it will!! he is fake! The fighting is off the hook but as a person he is fake!”
Now it is Rampage's turn to fire the 'fake' arrow. He makes snide remarks about him not being as 'edumacated' as Jones. As if Jon Jones' articulate communication is something to ridicule.
bloodyelbow, shamefully, seems to have taken up the mantle in being obsessed with convincing the world that Jon Jones is a fake.
According to the otherwise unparalleled Jonathan Snowden:
Unfortunately, Jones just isn't quite clicking. There's something about Jones people don't care for, something beyond their ability to articulate. You can't point your finger at it, but some fans at their core seem to be rejecting Jones. They understand, probably without knowing exactly why, that Jones doesn't represent the MMA ethos as we know it.
Here is the equally esteemed Brent Brookhouse:
With Jones there is just something "off." I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is yet, but there is just a sense of overwhelming phoniness every time I watch him in a situation like this.
Notice the common thread in all these accusations? None of his detractors seem to ever be able to articulate exactly why they feel Jon Jones is fake or a phony. It's always something they can't quite put their finger on.
The Jimmy Kimmel video segment that Brent Brookhouse finds not just phony, but 'incredibly phony'? All Jon Jones does in the video is look clean, tall, handsome and good natured. He trades barbs with a verbal master in Rampage and even laughs at himself when Rampage levels a few one liners at him. This is 'incredibly' phony??
And what of Snowden's charge that fans at their core, seem to be rejecting Jones? Would these be the same fans who will flock to UFC 135, headlined by Jon Jones, and make it one of the biggest cards of the year? Snowden puts himself in a hole that he ridiculously tries to extricate himself out of.
Jones' isn't a story of hard work and dedication, though he undoubtedly puts in work at the gym.
Excuse me?? This is fighting. The final bastion of realness. No one gets to be champion thru lack of hard work. Jon Jones might indeed be just a young pup, he might not have the quality of fights that Rampage has, but the savagery and ferocity and brutality he shows in his fights are not the results of 'gifts' or 'meticulous coaching' or being protected. It's the blood, sweat and unmitigated hunger of a young lion who will not be denied.
The only thing phony about Jon Jones is that he will not acquiesce to what fans or reporters think should be his demeanor.
The saying goes if you repeat something long enough, people eventually start to believe it. Fans ought to know better by now than to believe anything Rampage says before a fight. His comments before his fight with Rashad would have made Alton Maddox cringe.
Me, I'll continue to believe in a fighter who carries himself as a champion and conducts himself as a champion. A fighter who outlives his hype with each superb outing.
The fans Snowden thinks are deserting Jones in droves are probably the same fans who were calling for Dana White to cut Anderson Silva before the brilliance in Rio and are now calling him the best ever.
The only place Jon Jones has an obligation in which to prove his realness, is in the octagon.
And Saturday night, Mr. Snowden, Mr. Bookhouse and Mr. Rampage, he will make you all believers.