Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has done an admirable job of recognizing the worldwide interest in mixed martial arts (MMA). One of the bigger steps UFC President Dana White and parent company ZUFFA took in promoting what they have to offer was an 11-city press tour to promote the upcoming fight cards on the 2013 docket.
The dynamic of the recent global trip was intriguing, with fighters who are poised to compete against one another being forced to travel, sightsee, and tolerate the other. It was almost a foregone conclusion that some negative traits would surface (think TUF house).
I loved my girlfriend before we moved in together, too...
This describes the dynamic between the two light heavyweight fighters who will compete for the 205-pound crown at the upcoming UFC 165 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 21, 2013.
Following a joint media stop in "The Mauler's" home country of Sweden, "Bones" expressed how there was no real heat between the two. Or so he thought. Based on a recent interview with Kimura.se, the towering Swede painted a very different picture.
"He's a little brat in an adult's body. A very immature boy in a grown man's body. It is Jones. It's like you give a shit kid everything. Why do you not speak up, you just say 'yes, yes,' everything that a kid asks for. Since there are no limits, it is all haywire. No, his behavior then ... No, I'm not a fan of it, if I may say so."
Damn, those are some fighting words.
It will be interesting to see if comments like these make the incumbent 205-pound champion change his tune about Gustafsson going forward. So, is this anger or disdain something that the challenger will use to his advantage come Sep. 21?
Not if he can help it.
"I am a professional and have great respect for Jones as a fighter. There are not many who can do what he has done and he deserves all the respect. But as a person, as a role model, I'm really not a fan, I try not to have feelings when I go off, whether good or bad. You should never fight with emotions, then you lose focus and then you lose. I will win. There's nothing else for me. I will not go match against Jones with the attitude of 'I'll make a good match.' I will win, it's that simple."
These comments -- coming from a fighter not typically known for his gift of gab -- sells the fight for this MMA fan. More so than the tepid "is his reach/height going to be able to match up with Jones" angle. One thing is for certain, the time Gustafsson has spent recuperating from "the cut," has brought out his verbally aggressive side.