Joe Rogan thinks Jon Jones would be more popular if he were white
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.
“I just always found it odd when everybody would get upset at him and say that they didn’t like that ‘he’s cocky,'” he said. “He’s 25 and he’s the UFC’s light heavyweight champion. He’s the youngest ever UFC champion. He destroyed Shogun [Rua] to win the title and I mean destroyed. He threw a flying knee and hit Shogun in the chin five seconds into their fight. I mean, Jon Jones is a motherf—er. He’s a motherf—er, but for whatever reason people have had an issue with that. I know I’m going to get a bunch of hate tweets. ‘F— you and your f—ing bulls–t. What do you got? White guilt? Calling out racism?'”
Jones didn’t make as much noise out of the octagon earlier in his career as he has recently. At first, he started off trying to play the likable character with a good-guy image. After he got a DUI and had Dana White bash him for the cancellation of UFC 151, that image no longer fit. But Jones also doesn’t embrace being a heel and has been caught in the middle in terms of what role he should play, which led Daniel Cormier to label him a phony.
Plus, he’s done a lot of other things that would make people dislike him.
Earlier this year, Jones hurled some homophobic slurs toward an Alexander Gustafsson fan on Twitter and later claimed he was hacked. He talked trash about UFC legends Chuck Liddell and Phil Davis on social media a couple weeks later. The light heavyweight champion has done plenty to tarnish his own image.