UFC 152 Results: Will Fans Cheer for Jon Jones Again?

Matt Saccaro@@mattsaccaroContributor IIISeptember 23, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Jon Jones celebrates defeating Rashad Evans by unanimous decision in their light heavyweight title bout for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jon Jones defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC 152, but don't expect that to win Jones any fans. Jones is just too unpopular and—unless he performs some kind of miracle like stopping a meteor from crashing into the planet like Chewbacca—always will be. 

Jon Jones is just too difficult for fans to like, his incredible in-cage abilities notwithstanding.

First, being a champion and refusing to take a fight on short notice (especially a fight that was deemed extremely winnable by pundits and fans alike) will hurt your popularity for a long time. MMA fans have a short memory, true, but they don't often forget things like that.

Jones repeatedly giving self-serving interviews to the press in the wake of the event being canceled didn't help much either; even Jones' PR man jumped ship!

However, UFC 151 wasn't the start of Jones becoming a hated fighter. The Jon Jones malaise was spreading even before the chicanery surrounding that event.

Remember when Jones said that he maligned the fact that kids could just go to the store and buy a toy UFC belt that looked exactly like his? Jones' career has been plagued with such PR faux pas that eroded the "humble Christian" shtick that Jones was trying to convey to fans. 

The main criticism that evolved from such gaffes was that Jones was the biggest fraud in MMA. He wasn't humble at all, he was just a hypocritical, arrogant jerk. 

Unfortunately for Jones, his June DWI made that criticism into a bona fide fact for many fans; recently saying that the said DWI set him free didn't help much either.

The way Jones is perceived amongst fans is proof enough that he'll never be cheered for again, but there are actually several more reasons why Jones is fated by the MMA gods to be a villain rather than a hero.

It is possible that the Jones detractors aren't fueled by a logical assessment of Jones' inconsistencies as a person, but are fueled by their own disgusting, sordid, pathetic jealousy. 

These people see Jones, his accomplishments and his young age and become jealous of his success.Why would they be jealous? Delving into the anti-Jon Jones psychology would be far too boring suffice to say that maybe people feel regret that they didn't train earlier in their lives or wrestle or have certain opportunities. Jones represents that ugly "what if" that follows miserable people to their death beds.

Another, more simple reason is that Jones beat someone's favorite fighter and now they don't like Jones. Fans live vicariously through their favorite fighters. Jones smashing the dreams of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort is therefore akin to Jones smashing the dreams of legions of smarmy fanboys. 

Jon Jones can become a master of every martial art on the planet and break every UFC record in the book, but he'll never become a fighter who is regularly cheered. He's an off-putting soundbite machine whose cheering section at each event will only consist of relatives and teammates; spectacular fighting moves, Nike sponsorship and "Believe your eyes" ad campaigns be damned.