For some time now, I’ve vacillated on my stance towards Jones. His technical prowess is beyond question - I fully acknowledge his excellence (within the cage). But that’s not what this article is about - it’s about why he can both attract and repel fans. Some have posited that the MMA fan base is systemically racist. I reject that position, but understand and appreciate why it’s been put out there: we (collectively, as a fan base) can’t agree what’s upsetting us, so naturally, lateral answers will be explored. Thankfully, the eureka moment happened today.
Jon Jones reminds us of a crazy ex-girlfriend - viscerally. Especially those of us who’ve dated artists… Before the condemnations begin, allow me to draw some parallels between both.
- can be wildly charismatic and attractive
- almost always kind/cool/intelligent/etc.
- brilliance within art form allows people to look past obvious character flaws
- quick to react to (perceived) insults, yet far quicker to cause grievance without conscience
- vacillates unpredictably between character poles and behaviour patterns
- wants what they say they don’t (ex: praise or love)
In short, if Jones was an ex girlfriend, he’d be the type to kick you awake at night, say you’ve been an asshole in his dreams, and explain that he’s angry in real life and you have to deal with his emotions. And because of his great attributes and your history together, you’re willing to suck it up, grit your teeth, and deal with it. Again. (For now). Because [review good trait list]...
Unlike a crazy ex, you can’t really say "let’s go home, Jon - you’re drunk." You simply watch the train wreck unfold, hoping against hope that the mildly self-congratulatory banter doesn’t turn viscous, or that he won’t keep jabbing fingers into opponents eyes that he’s clearly outclassing already.
For MMA fans everywhere, it’s really a decision of how long you’ll be with (read: support) him. Jones "patterns" like an ex girlfriend - one that might take you years to get over, or that you wish any other future girlfriend might be like, but there’s a reason you start to cringe every time they open their mouth… There’s an expression that comes to mind: "No matter how sexy, awesome, or rich she is, someone, somewhere is sick of her shit."
Personally, I’m not prepared to let (the litany of) cringe-worthy acts force me to turn my back on Jones - his charisma, brilliance within the art, and (most of) his character is enough. For now… (I think).