Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
The case of Jon Jones is strange indeed.
On one hand, people criticize his every word simply because they need to find something wrong with him, given that no one has been able to do it in the cage.
Jones has taken some seriously beloved fighters and made them look weak and vulnerable, dismantling them with an ease that just doesn’t seem right.
As a result, many attack his character, saying that he is a fake who goes by a script in order to seem like a good guy. His detractors say, in truth, he is really a pretender who enjoys more success than he deserves.
But all of that was a precursor to UFC 151, when Jones refused to fight last-minute replacement Chael Sonnen, who offered to step up for the injured Dan Henderson.
Dana White quickly took to the pulpit and announced that, due to Jones' decision, the entire card would be cancelled, blaming the fate of an entire event upon one man.
Of course, this isn’t the first time White has used his position to attack, but it was one of the first times he did so to a big star.
Forgetting it was nothing more than a case of White passing the buck (and that’s exactly what it was), critics blasted Jones for being selfish, and fighters rallied around their boss, trampling Jones into the mud in the process.
Jones was tried in the court of public opinion and found guilty of being a coward, an ego maniac, a diva and just about any other name you can think of. This happened just because White needed a scapegoat and would rather slander one of his own than admit he should not have built an entire PPV card around one fight.
To this day, Jones seems to have more detractors than fans, which may not be as bad as it seems.
For a man who wants to become the next Ali, having detractors is a terribly important thing; for most of his career, Ali had more that were against him than for him.
They tuned in to see him lose, and he was happy to disappoint them.
In truth, Jones is a lot like Ali. Both had to look out for themselves because no one else would. Both had to build a legacy by defeating the best in their division and neither man was afraid to speak their mind and make tough decisions.
All criticism aside, White had better hope he doesn’t go too far one day and find out that Jones has decide to sign with the competition.
If someone else can keep Jones and his sponsorship money intact, well, the UFC isn’t the only MMA promotion with big money behind it anymore.