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The Male Ego and Jon Jones

Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya Are Already Having the Beef of the Decade
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Combat sports are not a game. And fighters aren’t your high school clout machines or big men and women on any given college campus. They are more made up of your nerds, burnouts, and ‘demo’ students. Fighters are a different type of talent pool entirely. Fighters are noble yet still willing to hurt people. Many are impulsive, reckless, and never think about the consequences of risky behavior. Jon Jones embodies every part of a fighter except the nerd.

 

Jon Jones’ Brand Inflictions

While many fighters have been known to be wild, Jon Jones’ transgressions hurt him more than most other greats. Jones has Tyson-level setups, but Tyson embraced his image. Jones’ brand was that of a God-fearing philanthropist. He was a lot like LeBron is now: secretly egotistical with an overbearing need and the power to control how people see them in terms of their competition.

They control their public image as a humble and God-fearing guy. Both brush off their controversial interactions as  “misunderstandings” literally every time. Moreover, as soon as they hit the big leagues, they were the most dominant and skilled at the youngest ages the sport had ever seen.

In 2011, Jon was seen as the good Christian boy who loved his family and had K-Swiss fundraisers for charity. His late mother was a philanthropist and his father a preacher. Imagine how badly Jon’s brand was damaged when Jon hit that pregnant lady with his car.

To be fair, it was a three-car crash that happened to involve a pregnant woman who was driving. Jon subsequently fled the scene.

 

A Jon Jones Beef is Forever

Stirred up by his internal struggle between being a nice, Christian boy or feral, alpha King-of-the-Jungle were several ugly beefs between Jon and Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen, and Daniel Cormier. Unsavory does not even begin to explain the insults Jones and Cormier have and continue to exchange.

However, compared to Jones’ current friction with Adesanya, they are starting to look more and more pedestrian. This is a comment made just last week, from beef that started six years ago.

Doubling Down After a Fall From Grace

For the record, August 4th is a personal holiday for me because of this very clip recorded on a hot mic on ESPN.

In Jon’s post-fight interview after UFC 182, he had this to say about Cormier: “I don’t like Daniel Cormier. I don’t respect Daniel Cormier. I hope he’s somewhere crying right now. I’m sure he is…” While in other sports, this is seen as a huge no-no, there is something novel about the viciousness of kicking a guy while he’s down.

Then, a video surfaced of Daniel Cormier sobbing backstage after that very loss. And when the two were scheduled to rematch, take a wild guess at what Jon Jones told Cormier at the UFC 214 pre-fight press conference. “You were crying on Cain Velasquez’ shoulder. I don’t wanna be a commentator; I just wanna make you cry backstage again.”

The rest of their beef honestly needs no commentary. Just look at this.

 

 

During this exchange on April 4th, 2016, Daniel Cormier also told Jones, “Just don’t get your dumb ass arrested again. Loser junkie.”

Look at this…

Usually, as athletes get broken in by a long career of ups and downs, their venom becomes diluted by humility. Jon Jones, however, is not at that point in his life.

 

Adesanya Jones Beef

 

Adesanya’s Emerging Mean Streak

Israel Adesanya, however – or Izzy –is establishing himself as MMA’s surging pound-for-pound martial artist as well as an elite troll. In Adesanya’s last fight, his opponent talked a lot of trash in the pre-fight promotion. Adesanya never forgot a single word, and he is 50 Cent levels of petty.

 

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A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender)

For those unfamiliar with combat sports, dancing after KO’ing someone is like hitting a game-winner then making out with one of the rival team’s cheerleaders at midcourt. For you football fans, it’s like winning by 40 then beating up the other team’s mascot. It’s reprehensible.

Can you tell he got bullied in high school? What kid that got treated with dignity and respect would do something like this?

 

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A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender)

On the other hand, Izzy’s opponent Paulo Costa looks like the exact kind of kid who had an easy go as an up-and-coming youth. I mean, look at this body; talk about a piece of meat. All of Izzy’s championship opponents’ physiques scream “bully jock,” so his entire title run has looked like “Revenge of the Nerds – The Sequel.”

 

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A post shared by Paulo Costa (@borrachinhamma)

 

Twitter Fingers and Bad Blood

The darkness of a championship fighter’s soul is something unmatched in sports. It’s only fitting that their beefs can be all types of “yikes” to the socially aware. While this back and forth between Adesanya and Jones is entertaining, I would prefer it to be contained to a scheduled bout. But what makes it so compelling is that these two are arguably the greatest we have ever seen.

Both fighters are undefeated and were overwhelming talents as soon as they arrived in the UFC. The problem with that is, just one loss after long undefeated streaks can severely diminish most fighters’ confidence and killer instinct.

Whether it’s a bloody war, a technical chess match, or a swift victory, there will also be a heavy price emotionally from all of this trash talk. As a fan of both fighters, the thought of it is exhilarating.

On the other hand, I am already saddened that one of these greats will never be the same again.

 

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A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender)

Author

  • Starts every morning with an obscene amount of black coffee & a nice long look in the mirror. Always puts him in a good mood. Product of Chicago and SMU that likes to talk sports and drink a lot so that he stays healthy and hydrated. This is a test. If you're reading this, I've likely done a tremendous job. As you were, September's Very Own