UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones isn't much of a talker.
"Bones" won the title from Mauricio Rua this past March at UFC 128 and he believe his actions in the cage, where he demolished the then-champion over the course of three rounds, speak far louder than words ever could.
So how would he respond when an opponent insults him or gets in his head?
Viewers of UFC Fight Night 25 got a glimpse this past Saturday night when both Jones and his upcoming UFC 135 opponent, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, were interviewed at the same time by Joe Rogan to help hype up their fight.
Jackson was by far the more aggressive interviewee and looked like he was really trying to fluster the young champion. Jones explained the situation during today's UFC 135 media conference call:
"Maybe because I took the backseat to the conversation. I'm very aware of why I'm here. I'm not here to show I'm better at arguing, talking or insulting. That's not my mission. If I had it my way, I'd do as very little media as possible but this stuff is mandatory. You're talking about an opponent that threatens and harasses every opponent in his history. I'll let him talk and have his fun and make me look like the scared one but I'll show him in the Octagon on the 24th."
While most of Jackson's talk has been easy to ignore, Jones admits that there was one thing in particular that has him riled up.
"The only thing that bothered me originally was the spygate situation. Not the accusation specifically but that the fans believed that I would actually pay someone to go to his camp and watch him and report to me. I'm aware of the character that I'm up against and it will make me better in the future. I have opponents in the future that will be big talkers as well and this will make me a better champion."
"Bones" has fought 14 times professionally compared to Jackson's 40 and has fought for just over three years compared to Jackson's 12 but this isn't the first time he's had to deal with someone trying to get in his head. He vividly remembered the last time an opponent had harsh words for him before a bout 19 months prior.
"The only other time was when I fought Brandon Vera. He had said "Jon Jones thinks he's the second coming of Jesus Christ." At the weigh-ins I got out of character and he got under my skin a little bit. People that anger me, it definitely make me fight better. It makes me fight better because I prepare better. I try not to insult my opponent. I just say things that I believe to be true. I don't want to make comments that could come back and bite me so I try to not speak too much when it comes to insults and just focus on training. I don't have any anger heading into this fight. I just know what I'm up against. The awareness helps me keep my composure."
Vera's trash talk didn't seem to phase Jones, as he elbowed his way to victory in just over three minutes while barely getting scratched in one of his most dominant career performances. Will this time out against Jackson be any different?
Do you think Jones' performance in the verbal warfare will have any impact come fight night? Or will he ignore the distractions and defend his belt?
Sound off, Maniacs!