Sticks and stones may break his bones, but words will never hurt Jon Jones, unless they allude to breaking his will or taking his soul.
In several heated Twitter posts, the reigning light heavyweight champion put an end to the playful banter with upcoming UFC 165 opponent Alexander Gustafsson. According to Jones, the fight is now personal:
One of Alexander's coaches said they would take my soul. That's my motivation!— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 1, 2013
I'm going to put your coaches foot right in his mouth. This is now personal, let's play— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 1, 2013
What will the critics say after this fight? Don't forget people, I asked for this fight.. http://t.co/yEhgJIRA0M— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 1, 2013
Them’s fighting words!
The rivalry between the two light heavyweights has been relatively low-key up until this point. If anything, some minor war of words should make things a little easier on the UFC’s promotional team.
Both Jones and Gustafsson typically stay away from unnecessary trash talk and disparaging remarks. So far, the UFC’s only marketing angle has been based around the fact that Gustafsson is the first light heavyweight to match Jones in size. The recently released UFC 165 poster is testament to that.
Jones, who is currently shining like Leroy Green from “The Last Dragon,” is a win away from breaking UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz’s record for most successful light heavyweight title defenses. The UFC also recently listed him as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Initially, there was some concern that Jones wasn’t taking the fight with Gustafsson seriously after he released a pre-camp picture of himself overweight and out of shape. Most of this talk was quelled by the fact that Jones typically balloons up in between camps, and he was still nursing the gruesome toe injury he suffered against Chael Sonnen in April.
Jones appears completely fixated on defeating Gustafsson and proving his placement as the best in the world.
If anything, the alleged comments made by Gustafsson’s coach just added fuel to an already raging fire.