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In His Own Words: Jon Jones' Fight Week Quotes

NEWARK, N.J. -- UFC 128 fight week has unquestionably been dominated by Jon Jones.

The light-heavyweight title challenger loves quotes; he collects them like kids used to collect baseball cards. He's also the son of a preacher, and he certainly inherited his father's ability to rivet a room.

Win or lose against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on Saturday night, Jones will walk away with an increased profile and the experience of fighting for the belt. Let it be said that he was no shrinking violet, commanding attention with his presence and insight.

Collected are a few interesting nuggets the 23-year-old rising star shared along the way.

On his haters...
"I have a very large group that doesn't embrace me. Every fight that I've had, people are saying this hype changed my head, but then there's also more and more people believing in me. I realized that for every two people that love me and realize what I'm trying to do -- share and help -- there's three people who find a reason to not like me. Whether they think I'm arrogant or what, I have no clue. I think those people have insecurities within their own heart."




On his positive outlook in life...
"I don't have much. I don't have the finances to do anything and change the world. I don't have the following of 50 Cent to change the world. But I have my little 50,000 followers on Twitter, and if I could just tweet positive things, happy things, and just do a little bit ... There's a 12-year-old out there who tweets me every day, and if you realize, I've never sworn on Twitter, put anybody down on Twitter. My Twitter is my sanctuary, my pulpit. If I could get anybody to think, I want to be like Jon Jones, I want to be happy all the time, I want to be nice to people, I want to be confident. That's what I want to give to someone. That means more to me than winning the belt. That is having a belt."

On changing his outlook over time...
"If you learn to be grateful for the little things, life can be more fulfilling than it is now. We grew up very poor. We were the kids who got free lunch. We never had name-brand sneakers, we never had anything. And I didn't even realize that I was poor because my parents showered us with so much love. It's important. Life can be very fulfilling if you learn how to look for it."

On the new people coming into his life after stardom...
"Someone just told me recently, 'If everybody likes you, you're doing something wrong.' So you got to dare to be different and be yourself. So right now I'm just picking and choosing, keeping my eyes open, realizing the same people here today telling you you're the greatest can be gone tomorrow, saying you're overrated."

On MMA...
"I realize I don't know crap when it comes to mixed martial arts."

On preparing for opponent Mauricio "Shogun Rua ...
"I actually got a headache the first time I watched his fights, because it was nothing like watching Ryan Bader as far as tactics to look out for. It was like three times the skill set of Ryan Bader."

On getting back into the gym just after winning the Bader fight...
"Originally I was like, 'Man, this sucks. I have to do this all over again.'"

On Shogun's ground skills...
"I'm not intimidated by his black belt ... Don't be surprised if you see a black belt get tapped out by a white belt."

On some of Shogun's few struggles in the cage...
"I don't believe the hype that he wasn't ready, that his knee was bad, that's why he got tired. I think he can be broken. Mentally and physically. Mainly mentally, that's also part of what I want to do to him, show him the Mark Coleman fight wasn't a fluke, he didn't come unprepared. Show him the Forrest Griffin fight wasn't a fluke, he didn't come unprepared. He has a huge entourage with him. He was prepared. It was the style of fight he was unprepared for. If thinks Forrest Griffin was too big and all over him and had a high pace, wait until he fights a 23-year-old with one goal in his heart."

On his perspective on how far he's come...
"Getting here is one thing, standing here is another. I always look back and think about where I come from. I remember in college it was ramen noodles and things like that. I never want to go back to that. That's why I work as hard as I do."

On how he expects Shogun to attack him...
"I think he's going to rush me right away. I think he's going to rush me and look for that right knee right away. Maybe I'll for a shot, or maybe I'll go for a fake shot into an attack. But I think he's going to rush me, and if he does, we'll be ready for that."

On Rua's contention that he's fought other opponents with Jones' reach...
"I look at myself as an Overeem with better wrestling, better jiu-jitsu and a more unpredictable style. So where he's mentioned he's fought tall, black guys before, I'm a lot different than [Overeem and Cyrille Diabate]."

On how Rua's Muay Thai clinch will fare against his Greco-Roman clinch...
"I think they're two completely different clinches. A muay thai clinch is a wrestling no-no. In wrestling, if you grab my head with it, you're open for a lot of different things to happen to you. I know with the muay thai clinch I'll have to worry about two knees, but from me, he'll have to worry about 40 different takedowns ... If he clinches with me, I would love that."

On linesmakers and fans naming him the favorite...
"I know I haven't proven much. I'm three years in the game here, and Shogun's about 14 years in the game. For me to be considered the favorite, I think that's absurd, but obviously people see something, and I'm going to try to prove them right."