No, I'm not bullshitting you, I did meet Jon Jones. I didn't post this story when it happened to me, because I didn't wan't to bore any of you it, but due to recent events, I think now is the perfect time to tell you all what happened. I have never had strong feelings one way or another towards Jones, partly because I don't take something as silly as not signing replica belts or making Shogun Rua look like the MMA equivalent of the Houston Astros as seriously as the rest of you. I guess I can attribute that to this experience, as I didn't quite know what to make of it at the time, and to be perfectly honest, I still don't. So read my story after the jump (because Afrotikiman is always on mobile).
It was October of 2011. As anyone who has lived in Houston will tell you, the weather sucks. This day was no different. It was a hot and humid day, which is not unusual, and the temperature was around the mid 80's. UFC fever was in the air, as UFC 136 was merely days away. Many notable fighters have come down to participate in the UFC Fan Expo that had come to town. Among them was Jon Jones. (I was unable to attend the expo, as some things had come up.)
The day before the expo was to commence, I went grocery shopping. I had to pick up some food, as I had a craving for kool-aid and Chips Ahoy. After picking up my artery clogging snacks, I made my way over to the check-out line (or queue as it is known in T.C. Engel's home land). As I waited in the express lane, I noticed a rather tall looking man in front of me, holding a basket filled with Gatorade and beef. As the line moved forward I caught a couple glances of the man's face, and thought he looked familiar. It wasn't until about 4 people were in front of him, that the thought occurred to me; Holy shit, I'm standing behind Jon Jones at a Kroger.
I almost involuntarily ejaculated myself right then and there out of sheer fandom, but I didn't as that would eliminate any chance of starting a conversation with the champ (and maybe earned me a trip to the slammer). I think he knew that I knew who he was, most likely because of the fact that my mouth was wide open in awe of this prize fighter. "Hello" he said in a calm voice. "H-h-h-iii" I replied nervously. I quickly cleared my throat and collected myself until I could ask him confidently, "Excuse, but aren't you Jon Jones, the UFC Champion?" "Why yes. Yes I am." I could tell by the tone of his voice that he still getting used to people noticing him in public, and was flattered by my fanboyism. He extended his hand out to me, and I shook his hand in return. "It's nice to meet you." Stupid, stupid, stupid! You don't tell the UFC champion that it's "nice" to meet him!
I quickly fell back to what I normally do when presented with an awkward situation; tell an awful joke. "Hey Jon," I can't believe I'm about to do this, I thought to myself, "What did the bee use to dry off after swimming?" As I gave the set-up I noticed the small smirk on his face turn into an ear-to-ear grin as he asked, "What?" The man loves jokes, I got this shit. "A Bee-ch towel!" The grin disappeared as my heart sank. He sucked his lips in his mouth, and his nose began to twitch. He began to snicker weakly, as my hope to make an impression had come back. He let a weak "heh". The "heh" turned into a "ha". The "ha" evolved into a chuckle. Before long, he was holding his sides from amusement, whilst laughing like a maniac. Fuck yes, my plan worked.
He thanked me for the joke, as it was the hardest he had laughed all week. He then changed the subject over to something else. As fate would have it, the champion was bored and needed something to keep himself amused while he was in town. I guess he was expecting me to lead him to a club or restaurant, but I decided to throw him a curve ball. I had told him about "the Buffalo Bayou Burp Button". See in downtown Houston, if you head on over to a bridge on Preston St. by the Wortham Center, you will find a red button. Pressing this red button would lead to this.
I described this to him, and he was very interested in checking it out for himself. He thanked me for the information and offered to pay for my food. I was reluctant to accept, but he managed to persuade me the other way. I began to think that Jon wasn't as fake as people thought he was, as he couldn't be more pleasant than he already was. As we began to head on over to the exit, he stopped me and asked me if I could do him a favor.
I accepted, after all he did pay for my diabetes, and engage me in pleasant conversation. "It's very hot outside," he began, "and I really want something cold to drink from the vending machine. The problem is I don't carry any cash around." I thought it was odd, but didn't think much of it, so I asked "How much do you need?" Without skipping a beat, he said, "I'ma need about...tree-fiddy." Now it was around this time that I had realized that Jon Jones wasn't really a professional MMA fighter, but a sea creature from the Paleolithic Era. DANG NABBIT! That Lochness Monster had gotten me again! I yelled at him, "GODDAMN YOU LOCHNESS MONSTER! I AIN'T GIVING YOU NO TREE FIDDY!", as he swam away towards the distance.