When Jones earned his title shot a mere 6-weeks ago, it was a shocking, but refreshing surprise for fans who didn’t want to see the beastly Jones sitting on the sideline, waiting for a chance at the title. Over the weeks leading up to the fight, Jones handled most of the fight PR. The hype continued to swell as Vegas had him as a huge favorite against the reigning champion. On the day of the fight, he ran down a guy who broke into a car in New Jersey. Watch him tell the story during the post fight press conference.
A let down would not have been shocking, but it didn’t happen. Much to Alicia Keys’ delight, Jones came out to Empire State of Mind, chill as a penguin. He took his sweet time getting into the cage, did his trademark cartwheel and waited for Shogun to accept his ass-kicking.
With that, the man the Wall Street Journal thought could become the UFC’s first “transcendent star,” took a step towards doing just that. He’s seemingly unstoppable. His fight style is creative and fan-friendly. He’s young, charismatic, funny and damn good at what he does.
UFC President Dana White said that now is when he’ll have to start dealing with the real distractions (parasitic hangers-on-types) and how he deals with his new level of fame will show us if he really is MMA’s answer to Mike Tyson. Later this week, Jones will become the first UFC fighter to appear as a sit-down guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Jones says he doesn’t believe in “eras” and in this immediate reaction world where every fighter that wins is great and everyone that loses should retire, he has a great point. The truth is, this could turn into an era no matter what he wants to call it. As of this moment, there’s no reason to believe that Jones won’t be the guy to take MMA and the UFC to the next level. That started on Saturday when he became the new baddest man alive.