Ariel Helwani had the chance to sit down for a lengthy interview with Jon Jones, the UFC superstar whose decision to not fight late replacement Chael Sonnen led to the cancellation of UFC 151. Over the forty-plus minute interview, Jones talks about everything from how attacked by fans, media and other fighters he felt in the wake of his decision to rumors that he asked Dana White to have Chael Sonnen stop taunting him.
Here's the interview:
On why he turned down the fight:
The main reason I didn't take the fight is basically because I talked to my head coach, my muay thai coach and my boxing coach, they know my weaknesses and strengths, they know how my muscles react. Each coach said, straight away that they think I can win the fight but they ALSO said that the want me to be aware that the styles are different, They have different kinds of clinch games, different takedowns... I'm not going to go through all the details of his game because it will sound tacky to those who don't understand fighting but to sum it up, Chael Sonnen is a southpaw, has different takedowns, different subs, different ground and pound, he's just a completely different warrior. Taking the fight would be ignorant.
People are saying "he's brave enough to fight you, why aren't you brave enough to fight him? There's people on the street right now that would take a fight against me just to see how they would do. Let alone wanting to talk about one of the top fighters in the world wanting to fight me with absolutely nothing to lose.
More quotes after the jump...
On if there is anyone he would have taken a late notice fight against:
The only guy I would've fought on short notice is Rashad Evans because his style is so similar to Dan Henderson's. Rashad Evans is a guy who is a good wrestler, has good scrambles in certain positions, has a huge overhand right, his left isn't really dangerous but it's there. Anyone else I would've said no, you can't pick fights based on your emotions. I can't put a multi-million dollar career and title on the line because someone is talking about my momma.
Another thing I've said in the past is that I said I would never allow Sonnen to jump the line by using his mouth and what was he doing? Jumping the line by using his mouth. The guy is a straight punk.
On the reaction of the other fighters and Dana White:
All the fighters that are insulting me on the card, I'm not the one who is saying that you're not good enough for pay per view.
I felt like a piece of meat.
It's good to know where I stand with Dana White, I don't want a fake relationship with anybody.
I haven't talked to Dana White, I'll let him calm down then talk to him. He has his reasons to be upset but I think he has to realize that I have a reason too. I thought he would be more supportive. He thinks I'm scared of Sonnen? I'm not scared, it's about being smart.
My job is not to be popular among fighters, I could care less if any fighter liked me or not, my job is to show up, do my job and go back home.
On the previous reports that he called Dana White and asked him to have Chael Sonnen stop taunting him:
...that is totally not true, regarding this pro wrestling guy who made this article... can he just make a bogus article like that? That is totally not true, I've dealt with Rampage, Rashad why would I do that? It's not true.