Manager: Jon Jones isn't 'turning heel,' he's simply maturing and becoming more vocal

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Malki Kawa, Jon Jones' manager, says "Bones" isn't turning heel based on his latest Instagram posts, it's simply Jones becoming more vocal and maturing as a person and a fighter.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has made it a habit over the last few months to instantly delete posts on his Instagram account shortly after posting them.

In the latest instance, "Bones" posted a video (watch it here) questioning why people were labeling him a coward for preferring to fight Daniel Cormier instead of Alexander Gustafsson, a fighter he already defeated.

He also made it perfectly clear that the decision he was making was for his career, not yours.

Many believe Jon's latest antics are a sign of him finally embracing the role of "heel." His manager Malki Kawa, however, disagrees.

Appearing on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Kawa says though he doesn't exactly know why Jones instantly deletes his posts, his videos aren't proof of him turning heel, but rather a sign of him maturing and no longer biting his tongue.

He explains:

"I don't know if this is him turning heel, I think what's going on with Jon is that he's maturing. This is him maturing and he's becoming more comfortable saying what he feels and not worrying too much about media backlash or people. What people don't understand about Jon, is that he wants to be a good example, especially for young kids. Jon wants when people look up to him to see a guy who put a lot of hard work into what he does. Its not something that just came to him because he's 6' 4" with long arms. He actually worked really hard to get better everyday. He also has his personal side, his personal life. He also has his business side, the life we don't see. When he was a kid, a lot of major celebrities or athletes might have looked down on him or didn't give him that autograph and he always said that he would never want to do that to anyone. How are athletes are portrayed nowadays, these big necklaces and partying all the time, whether he does that or not, it's not something that he necessarily wants out there. He also doesn't want to come across as that guy who is brash and cocky. What he's always tried to do is be a professional and act a certain way when he's on camera and all that. There are certain times when he has held his tongue back and held his feelings back. As time has gone one, he's realized that it's okay to tell someone that if you ask for a fight, your going to go toe-to-toe with them. It wasn't necessarily directed at the fans. That video was, 'you are trying to make me out to be a coward.' It could have been directed at the media, it could have been directed at Dana White, it could have been for the fans, who knows. That's the beauty of Jon Jones. He's just learning that it's okay to be a bit more vocal and to say things."

Jones finally settled his contract dispute with the ZUFFA-owned mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion and signed on the dotted line to rematch Alexander Gustafsson, a fight which is expected to go down at UFC 178 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sept. 27, 2014.

Sorry, Daniel Cormier.

While Kawa didn't confirm or deny that Jones signed a new deal with UFC despite having five fights left on his current contract, he did say that both parties left last week's face-to-face meeting rather happy and confirmed that the relationship between "Bones" and UFC is healthy.

Apparently, so too is Jon's bank account.

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