Jon Jones is already considered one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history. Despite his unpredictable layoffs and legal troubles outside of the cage, “Bones” remains arguably the most gifted martial artist to ever step foot inside of the Octagon.
Next weekend at UFC 232 in Las Vegas, Jones will make his return to the sport against rival Alexander Gustafsson and try to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight title that he never actually lost in competition. A victory for Jones would put him back on the 205-pound throne and cap off a true MMA comeback story.
But despite all of his accolades and accomplishments inside of the Octagon, the only thing that matters to Jones is being remembered as a “bad motherf*cker.” Going down as the GOAT would be nice, but “Bones” believes that discussion is driven but popularity, not necessarily the overall resume of a fighter.
“No, I don’t think being considered the best — I don’t think one fight makes you, one fight doesn’t make my career. It’s the journey, it’s not about one fight,” replied Jones during Thursday’s UFC 232 media call (replay here) when asked his thoughts on the being considered the greatest fighter of all-time.
“I feel like there will always be a debate about who is the best, whoever is the best is whoever is hot at the current moment. I feel like MMA fans are very quick to forget a lot of peoples’ accomplishments.”
Jones, who is guaranteed to land on MMA’s Mount Rushmore when it’s all said and done, pointed to other combat greats to help support his claim.
“For example, Anderson Silva is not even considered to be in the conversation anymore as the GOAT, which is a shame because he’s done so much for our sport. Jose Aldo, these guys have been kicking ass for years, they’ve done so much for our sport and then one defeat, and now they’re not the best any more,” he said.
“I understand that the conversation will always just be an opinion and I’ve just got to focus on the things that I can control, which is preparing myself the best that I can for each fight and making sure my hand is raised at the end of the day.”
So if Jones isn’t fighting to be considered the “GOAT,” what is the New York native hoping to accomplish? Like most fighters competing in the game today, “Bones” simply wants to be remembered as a fighter who put it all on the line and absolutely demolished the competition (which he has to this point in his career).
“What is my legacy? What would I want it to be? Let’s see here, just being a bad motherf*cker at the end of the day. Just a bad dude, man. Am I perfect? No. Am I a Christian who swears? Yes. Do I love God? Yes. Do I love my family? Yes. Am I bad motherf*cker in that ring? Yes,” Jones said.
“That’s it, man. One thing I’m realizing is, being the champion, you don’t have to wear a suit everyday, you don’t have to be politically correct and have all the kids look up to you and say that you’re such an angel. Who said that’s what a champion has to be?”
UFC 232 will take place on Dec. 29 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and be headlined by the highly-anticipated Jones vs. Gustafsson rematch.
For complete UFC 232 fight card news click here.