Why Dan Henderson Will Be the Fan Favorite over Jon Jones
Jon “Bones” Jones is slated to throw hands with mixed martial arts veteran Dan “Hendo” Henderson most likely at UFC 151. However, the likelihood that the Endicott native will have the fans cheering him on will be slim to say the least.
That honor of fan favorite will be bestowed upon the shoulders of the 41-year-old Henderson, and that’s a given.
Since attaining the status of UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jones has, for some reason or another, felt the wrath of the MMA contingent—they love to hate him. They want that supposed smirk wiped completely off his face, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
With that in mind, here are the reasons why the fans will be backing Henderson all the way come fight night.
3. Jon Jones is Too Arrogant
At 23, Jones became the youngest 205-pound titlist in the history of the Zuffa-based promotion when he ruthlessly dispatched Pride legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Prior to the matchup at UFC 128, Jones was proclaiming himself champ, something that didn’t sit too well with the fans—they felt it disrespectful to someone of Shogun’s stature.
Also, the way he conducts himself in interviews has been deemed haughty (I like to call it confidence), and that’s another major gripe the fans have with him.
Furthermore, according to some fight fans, his treatment of fighters such as Lyoto Machida—leaving “The Dragon” to flop face first into the canvass after submitting him via standing guillotine choke—smacked of consummate arrogance.
Whilst Jones’ behavior is seen as supercilious, Henderson supposedly comes across as the complete opposite—humble and down to earth.
2. Jon Jones is Fake
In the MMA stratosphere, the word "fake" has become synonymous with Jon Jones. Why, you ask?
In March of 2011, prior to his championship-winning bout with Mauricio Rua, Jones and coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn stymied an attempted robbery.
Less than a month later, Jones was making headline news again. This time he came to the aid of a woman and her progeny—putting them up in hotel room for several days until they could fly back home.
And in December of the same year following his dismantlement of Lyoto Machida, his coach Jackson, bellowed to Jones, “Go check on Lyoto. Get some fans,” unaware that his instructions had gone viral.
To some fans, the aforementioned incidents were a ploy to garner both media attention and a fanbase, hence the reason for said fans labeling him "phony."
Even Hendo jumped on the “Jon Jones is fake” bandwagon when speaking to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani.
Said Henderson: “I think it all has to do with being genuine and the fans sense that: when you are and when you're not. I'm pretty much who I am all the time and I don't know if they get that impression from him.”
It’s safe to say that Hendo hit the nail on the head with regards to how he feels the fans perceive Jones. And that’s one of the reasons the former will be the fan favorite.
1. The Fans Want Jon Jones to Lose
Courtesy Tracy Lee Yahoo! Sports
Jon Jones was 6-0 in his MMA career before becoming a resident UFC combatant. Six wins and one disqualification later, he was vying for the division's Holy Grail.
He’s destroyed established fighters in the guise of Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko, annihilated Shogun for the title and derailed former champions Quinton “Rampage“ Jackson, Machida and “Suga” Rashad Evans, all with effortless efficacy.
Arrogant, fake and running through the weight class without a care in the world—for the Jones haters, this is just too much to stomach; he has to fall.
Former three-division titlist Henderson is the one man who they believe could realize their dreams and bring an abrupt halt to the Jones freight train once and for all.
Albeit he’s 17 years older than his counterpart, he does possess one weapon which could change the course of the light heavyweight assemblage—his famed “H-Bomb.”
That same right hand detonated on Michael Bisping’s exposed chin to render the British braggart unconscious.
Even with the destructive H-bomb at his disposal, the former NCAA Division l wrestler has little more than a cat’s chance in hell of exacting the same fate upon Jones, but a chance nonetheless.
That chance and a picture of Jones sprawled comatose-like on the canvas will more or less suffice for Henderson to be the fan favorite.