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UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones seems determined to alienate as many fans as he can. First there's the whole sanctimonious hypocrite act wherein he talks about Jesus all the time and brags that he's not the kind of athlete that's going to get a DWI. Then a month later he's got a DWI.
His latest mis-step is the way he's talking about his disinterest in fighting UFC MW champ Anderson Silva. We posted on his "we both have a lot to lose" riff yesterday. Here's some lowlights from that statement:
To be dead honest, it's that we both have a lot to lose ... we both are striving for personal greatness. I don't want to crack on his greatness and I don't want him cracking on my greatness...We both have sponsor deals and things that are really important to us and a big part of that sponsorship package is being a winning-being a champion. Having us fight each other means one of our championships goes away.
The right answer is after the jump...
Nate Wilcox is an award-winning communications consultant and a former Director at the power-house public advocacy firm Public Strategies who has advised dozens of political and corporate clients on their public relations, political campaigns and crisis communications.
Fans don't care about your sponsors Jon. The world economy is sputtering the drain. The unemployment rate for the demographic coterie that watches the UFC is somewhere over 15%. Here's what fans want to hear from you:
"Anderson Silva? Look I'll fight anyone Dana and the fans say they want to see across the cage from me but right now I'm training to fight Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September. Henderson is a Strikeforce champ, a multi-division Pride champ, if I'm daydreaming about super fights with Anderson Silva, Hendo will "H-Bomb" me like he did Michael Bisping. Let me get past Henderson and then we'll see.
Alternatively, Jones could sell the fight a little bit and position himself as the heel:
"Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter of all time and it would be an honor to face him in the Octagon. He's the greatest right now but in 10 years I'll have proven myself to be the greatest of all-time and I'd love the chance to prove I'm the better fighter."
The main thing is that neither of these approaches break the fantasy that you are a fearless striver after greatness, always looking to test yourself and overcome the biggest challenges the sport can present.
If you think losing a fight to Anderson Silva could in any way shape or form diminish your legacy you don't understand what a legacy is. Build a reputation for cherry-picking easy fights and ducking the tough ones and watch how fast your legacy gets tarnished.
We don't want to hear that you're afraid to lose. We don't want to hear how much money losing a fight might cost you. We want to hear that you're fearless, that you're always embracing new challenges, that you're never going to stop reaching for greatness no matter who is put in front of you.
And remember, without fans, there won't be any sponsors. Ultimately Jon, you and Anderson Silva both work for the fans. So does Dana White. So does Lorenzo Fertitta. The UFC is in the entertainment business. You're in the hero business. Fans need someone they can believe in. Stop pulling the curtain back and revealing yourself to be a very ordinary person who's worried about very selfish, very ordinary concerns.
Step up Jon, if you keep making PR blunders like this the only fans you'll have are the ones cheering the first fighter to beat you soundly.