Jon Jones and Corey Anderson just took their budding rivalry to the next level.
Jones, who was partaking in a meet-and-greet session at an iPlay America event earlier today (Sat., July 27, 2019) in Freehold, N.J., saw his public appearance interrupted by Anderson and a collection of his friends. Anderson doesn’t train too far away from the event’s location and wanted to make his presence known.
While neither fighter got close enough to engage in a physical altercation, the two light heavyweights did trade some verbal barbs. Although limited, some of the back-and-forth was captured in the below videos (h/t ESPN’s Ariel Helwani):
“I’m just trying to have a conversation, that’s all,” Anderson told Jones.
“That’s good,” Jones replied. “One thing I want to let you know, bro: If you wanna fight, we’re gonna fight. But coming over here and saying anything stupid to me is not a good idea.”
“Ain’t nobody saying nothing,” concluded Anderson.
While this isn’t some sort of all-out brawl that rival fighters sometimes find themselves in the confrontation does add some fuel to an already burning fire. Remember, Anderson has been hot on Jones’ tail to earn a shot at his UFC light heavyweight championship. From telling Jones he wants “all the smoke” to ripping the champ for his recent struggles outside of the cage, Anderson has been all over “Bones” for the past few months.
Jones, who never seems to back down from a public spat, has fired back his own shots at Anderson, most recently stating that the light heavyweight contender has been acting like a “bitch.”
Anderson, who understandably is doing everything in his power to turn a three-fight win streak at 205 pounds into a title shot later this year, helped recap Saturday’s altercation with Jones via Twitter:
I just came to say "Hi"... @JonnyBones comes to my town I want to give him a nice warm welcome. But noooo, he got emotional that I know his manager. I'm the victim! And then he insulted my coach @DanteRiveraMMA .... #ufc #fightme https://t.co/r7qFYmCeiq— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) July 27, 2019
“I just came to say “Hi”… @JonnyBones comes to my town I want to give him a nice warm welcome. But noooo, he got emotional that I know his manager. I’m the victim! And then he insulted my coach @DanteRiveraMMA,” wrote Anderson.
Only time will tell if Anderson’s most recent effort to get under the skin of Jones pays off in locking down a title shot. Jones is looking to fight one more time before the end of the year so “Overtime” might be the best bet at this point in time.