As Jon Jones
' Twitter followers
might have noticed on Saturday night, the UFC light heavyweight wasn't a fan of Thiago Silva
's slapping maneuver against Brandon Vera
late in their UFC 125
Jones called Silva's treatment of Vera "disrespectful," and added "i'd love to give him a slap in the face."
To many people on the internet, it looked like an instant rivalry. As Jones explained to MMA Fighting this week, it's not that he has anything personal against Silva, but rather against blatant displays of disrespect between professionals.
"It kind of bugged me, only because we all fight, and just losing alone is humiliating enough," Jones said. "It's embarrassing. If someone ever did that to me, where they would beat me like that and then drum on my back, I would be humiliated. Just absolutely humiliated."
Such are the peculiarities of mixed martial arts. Smashing Vera's nose is to be expected. It's one of the risks you take when you step in the cage, and everyone realizes it. But to be essentially mocked on live TV, that's something most fighters assume they won't have to deal with.
As Jones explained it, it wasn't just Vera who Silva was insulting when he alternated between drumming on Vera's back and slapping his ear in the third round of their bout.
"Think about all the people who watched those fights. All his fans, all the members at his school, all the kids that look up to him. Man, it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It's not something I would ever want done to me and it's not something I would ever do to someone else."
Jones insisted he wasn't trying to start up an internet beef with Silva – with Ryan Bader
already on his dance card for UFC 126
in February, Jones has plenty to think about as it is – but still couldn't shake the feeling that Silva had failed to show the necessary respect for a fellow opponent.
"It came out afterwards that he said he slapped him to try and get him to open up, and I do believe that he was looking for an opening, but at the same time he was having a little fun, too," said Jones. "There's ways of looking for an opening besides playing pattycake on a guy's back."