Jon Jones isn’t exactly a people’s champion. The 27-year-old is the youngest champion in UFC history, but there are plenty of people who would like to see his run come to an end. Does that have anything to do with the color of Jones’ skin? Joe Rogan believes it does.
“I don’t know why Jon is not more loved or popular than he is,” Rogan said on his podcast earlier this week, as transcribed by David St. Martin of MMAFighting.com. “I don’t understand it. In my opinion, I will never miss a Jon Jones f—ing pay-per-view. I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, he’s cocky. He’s this and [that].’ I wonder what the f— is going on with that and I’m going to throw this out there, I’m just going to say it: I wonder how much of it is racism. I really do.”
Rogan went on to use Chael Sonnen as an example, though I’m not sure that makes the most sense. Plenty of people despise Sonnen, and I’m one of them. I don’t care what color his skin is; he’s obnoxious.
“You know why? Because I think they look at him as this cocky black guy and I think a lot of people have an issue with that,” Rogan said of Jones. “I think that if he was a white guy and he was doing the same thing, a la a Chael Sonnen, I think he would be way more popular. Chael was never the successful athlete that Jon is, but I think Chael was way more successful as a promoter than Jon is. Jon has not been nearly as cocky or outwardly braggadocious as Chael was.”
Rogan was just getting warmed up.