Embrace the hate?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones refuses to do so. He's emphatic in that point, too, not budging even an inch on his stance that he's got every reason in the world to act the way he does.
In an interview with MMA Weekly, he explains:
"I am not going to say I embraced the role of being a villain because I am not. I am not a villain; I am not a bad person. I pride myself off of inspiring others. For all the people that think I am cocky, it's like if you really listen to what I talk about, if you talk to me about fighting you may hear something that is a little arrogant because, right now, I train so hard to not even get hit, let alone talk about rousing a fight. So it is like I love this sport so much, I own it to myself to think of myself in the highest regard, so I am not going to apologize if I am a little full of myself when it comes to MMA."
His timing is getting better, considering the heat from the UFC 151 cancellation has all but died down completely and UFC President Dana White is no longer spearheading a smear campaign to bury "Bones" under his own lies.
Still, comments like these won't be winning him any new fans. But wait ... there's more:
"I am the nicest person ever to everyone who has ever met me. I'm the nicest person to people. Every day I walk into Jackson's gym and I hand out boxes of equipment. I order stuff all the time for my teammates and just give it out. I just give it to people. I am like the nicest person ever."
Well, if you say it enough times, it must be true.
Although he's been on the public's bad side for some time now, Jones really drew the ire of the mixed martial arts (MMA) fans when he refused a short notice fight against Chael Sonnen and UFC 151 was subsequently cancelled. As mentioned previously, White wasted no time laying the blame for as much solely at Jones' feet.
But if we're to believe Jones, he's a swell guy and if you met him, you would know that.
Because he would be so nice to you. Like the nicest ever. So nice. Just really nice.