Ronda Rousey is one of the most marketable faces in mixed martial arts. She’s a woman, she’s attractive, and she has dominated the UFC since becoming the first female fighter to sign with the organization in 2012. Dana White loves promoting her and for good reason, but does Jon Jones think too much time is being spent on it?
Jones is scheduled to defend his light heavyweight championship for the seventh time against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 on April 26. Rousey will defend her title against Sara McMann at UFC 170 on Feb. 22. Jones feels that Rousey’s fight is receiving more attention, and he’s not surprised by it.
“We don’t always see eye-to-eye with the UFC, so I don’t know if they are always necessarily pushing me and whether that’s a smart idea on their end or not. Who knows?” Jones told Bloody Elbow last week. “I do know that they are pushing Ronda Rousey really hard, and she’s gotten a lot of great opportunities. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m pushing myself all the time so, I’m not really worried.”
Jones recently said he wants to fight Cain Velasquez or schedule some sort of “superfight” sooner rather than later. When Dan Henderson pulled out of his fight against Jones before UFC 151 because of injury, Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen as a replacement. That would have been a huge draw, and his refusal infuriated Dana White. Sonnen later admitted that he and Henderson set Jones up.
The man they call “Bones” also angered White when he wrecked his car in a DUI back in May 2012. He was once hand-picked as the fighter UFC wanted to market the most, and that seems to have cooled off a bit. Jones thinks that is because he is different from old school fighters.
“I know that I’m a lot different from some of the guys from the past,” he explained. “Guys like Chuck Liddell, and guys like Matt Hughes that would just get up and do anything, anytime, and never voice their opinion. I’m trying to change a lot of things in the game — making sure the fighters are being respected, making sure our own brands are being respected, things like that. We just don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything. Either way it works out.”
Jones is 19-1 and is one of the UFC’s best fighters. He is still a huge draw, so he will be marketed plenty. That said, Rousey is defending her title just two months after her last fight. Jones’ pickiness almost certainly discourages White and company on some level.
H/T Yahoo! Sports