Fighting without fanfare is just a brawl between two guys in a back alleyway fighting for twenty bucks and a round of free drinks at the local bar, or in the words of Bernard Hopkins two construction workers after work fighting each other for a sandwich. Fighting by itself is immoral, violent, unnecessary, and utterly barbaric. Over the years we've sought to civilize the art of fighting with theatrical presentation, a poetic ensemble of trash talk, character study, and the ever present narrative. Big bucks are made in this business of brutality laden Broadway shows held in rings and cages. Strip a man down to his core self and he's as much an animal as the family dog when you take away his ability to remain house broken and his adherence to commands, "Sit", "Stay", "Fetch".
Throughout the complex history of fighting we've enjoyed both sides of the character within the story. Whether its the early days of professional wrestling with the likes of Gorgeous George with his flamboyance and arrogance. Muhammad Ali, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Mike Tyson made for great anti-heroes. Those were the guys you couldn't help but to root for even though they went against every traditional layout we've ever known in our society and our culture. They were the middle finger to a buttoned up society that made the rules. Then you had the heroes like Hulk Hogan, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Manny Pacquiao to name a few. These were the guys who could do no wrong. People liked De La Hoya and Ray Leonard because they were charming, had great smiles and were harmless to the perception of minority sports stars by white America.
Then you have the villains, guys who just don't care whether you hate them or not because the know you can't help but to watch them every time they put on a show. Guys like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, and the biggest sports villain of them all Floyd Mayweather embrace their inner antagonist because they realize bigger fame, the bigger stage, and bigger paychecks goes to those who are bad, because today's culture rewards the art of bad behavior.
Jon Jones ought to take a page from the Mayweather handbook and embrace his inner or outer depending how you feel about him, his inner villain. He needs to drop the good guy friendly neighborhood fighter act and just go with what most feel is the real Jon Jones. Most people feel the real Jon Jones is brash, cocky, aloof, and utterly unstoppable in the cage and he knows it. People hate him because he's too good to be stopped right now, and he's the wrong person to be this good, someone more genuine deserves what he has right now.
The thing that works best in regards to Floyd Mayweather is his ability to say and do whatever he wants, have people hate him, and then shut the haters up by winning a fight without breaking a sweat. His talent and his current invulnerability to defeat is what people hate most about him. If he were the same exact person but with one loss on his record we wouldn't care much about his actions in and outside the ring. But because he's been undefeated for 16 years it drives us crazy that he seemingly gets away with the cash before the train reaches the bank.
Mayweather is the greatest villain we've ever seen in combat sports. He might be the greatest villain we've seen in sports period. Jon Jones could be that next great antagonist if he realizes that more people hold a sense of distrust when he's trying to be good than they do when he every so often lets his true self out in public. He's the perfect Mayweather figure in a sport still young and in need of crossover stars. The UFC has anti-heroes, heroes, and the closest they've had to a villain was Tito Ortiz but Tito was never this dominate and was never projected to be this good so soon in his career. Jon Jones is and will go light years beyond what Tito did in his prime when he reigned as UFC light heavyweight champion.