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Greg Jackson Calls Comment to Jon Jones 'a Dumb Thing to Say'

After Jon Jones choked out Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, Jones's coach Greg Jackson stepped into the Octagon and urged Jones to check on Machida and see if he was OK. Jackson's comment was picked up by microphones and broadcast to fans watching on, and Jackson's phrasing was interpreted by some fans as an attempt to stage manage Jones and perhaps show a false concern for his fallen opponent.

But on Monday, Jackson said the whole thing was misunderstood.

After the fight, as Machida was on the ground getting medical attention, Jackson shouted to Jones, "Jon! Jon! Go check on him! Go check on Lyoto, get some fans!"

To MMA fans who think Jones comes across as a phony, that "get some fans" line was seen in a negative light, as though Jones and Jackson weren't really concerned about Machida, but Jackson thought it would be good PR for Jones to pretend to be concerned. But Jackson appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday and said he was kicking himself for the way he phrased his comment to Jones, because he hated the way it was interpreted.

"Fighters get into this place when they're fighting -- Jon choked him out but he was in this zone," Jackson said. "So I said to Jon, 'Go check on Machida and get yourself some fans,' which was a dumb thing to say. What I was trying to convey to him was, You're a professional athlete and there's ring decorum, and I should have said 'Remember the fans' because everyone is watching what you do. I misspoke."

Jackson said he wasn't trying to suggest that Jones should only be concerned about Machida because that might make fans like him. He said he was pointing out that Jones is a role model and that fans would want to see how Jones reacted to choking Machida out.

"'Go check on him and the fans will appreciate it' was what I meant, but I'm a bonehead sometimes and it came out wrong, which wasn't my intention at all," Jackson said.

Jackson said he's disappointed that some fans are picking up his comment to Jones and beginning to believe that Jones's nice-guy image is an act that Jackson is trying to craft.

"I don't feel it's fair because it wasn't my intention," Jackson said. "I wasn't trying to manipulate Jon."

As for the fight itself, Jackson said he thought Machida's style, as a southpaw with an unusual counter-striking approach, gave Jones some trouble in the early going. But he said he was proud of the way Jones responded.

"Jon took some hard shots and really showed his jaw," Jackson said. "Machida's a true warrior, and what a smart guy. I was very impressed."