Motivation can sometimes come from expected places, like say, etching ones name in the UFC record books. Motivation can also come from some less predictable places, like having someone refer to you as "a spoiled brat." Heading into Saturday night's matchup against Alexander Gustafsson, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones seems inspired by both of these things.
Jones captured UFC gold by laying out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. Since that March 2011 third round TKO win, Jones has defended the title five times. That ties him with UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz for most defenses in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division. A win at UFC 165 over No. 1 ranked Gustafsson, and Jones will break free from that tie.
For most, remaining champion and setting records would be sufficient motivation, but Jones found some additional drive in an interview that his opponent did with a Swedish website Kimura.se. Speaking about Jones, Gustafsson said, "He's a little brat in an adult's body. A very immature boy in a grown man's body."
Not surprisingly, Gustafsson's words got back to Jones. MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani asked the UFC champion about Gustafsson's comments, to which Jones replied:
It motivated me a lot to train even harder, study even harder and to be more honest, not worry about hurting his feelings or saying something that may be disrespectful.
Spoiled brat. That's a jealous comment. Someone that's coming from a jealous place would say something like spoiled brat.
In a few hours, we'll find out if that extra training and extra studying will allow Jones to extend his UFC light heavyweight record winning streak to 10 consecutive victories.
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