Jon Jones has had the unique opportunity to get to know two of MMA’s most outspoken athletes.
In 2012, the former two-time UFC titleholder spent a few weeks filming the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Chael Sonnen. Though the two mostly got along on the show, Jones got to experience firsthand Sonnen’s larger-than-life persona prior to their bout at UFC 159, which Jones won by first-round TKO.
But years before he and Sonnen crossed paths, Jones was a standout wrestler at Iowa Central Community College where he lived with current interim welterweight champion Colby Covington. In a recent interview with RT Sport, Jones explained how his old roommate compared to “The American Gangster.”
“Man, he is such an interesting character,” Jones said of Covington. “One thing I’ll say about him that I wish people realized was how severe of a liar he is. He is an extraordinary liar. He reminds me a lot of Chael Sonnen, how he could say one thing and just tell the fans a bold-faced lie.”
“He lies about things that aren’t even really important,” Jones continued. “I can see you lying if it’s life or death, or if it’s really going to be a detriment to your career or something, but he just makes up lies. I really feel sorry for him to be that type of person. I really feel sorry for him. I don’t know if that is fixable.”
Covington has ruffled feathers with his confrontational attitude towards the notoriously passionate Brazilian fans, his social media boasts, and his fearless feuding with his fellow fighters, regardless of the weight class. And as his talk has garnered more and more attention, Covington has continued to win, capping off a two-year unbeaten run with a unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos to claim an interim belt.
That’s not enough to seriously impress Jones, who has no interest in engaging further with Covington anytime soon.
“I don’t think I’d say something to him, he really isn’t... I don’t want to say that, I was going to say he’s not worth my time, but that could be a little arrogant,” Jones said. “I have nothing to say to him.
“He has a lot more to prove in this sport. He’s got a lot more work to do to sit at the table with me. In the game right now — he is a child and I am a man, when you really think about it. Just when it comes to the things I’ve proven. He is not close to being on my level.”
One thing Jones could not ignore was Covington managing to arrange a meeting with president Donald Trump, an occasion that Covington vowed would happen should he ever capture UFC gold. “Chaos” posted a picture of himself at the White House with Trump shortly after defeating dos Anjos.
“I was happy for him that he got to meet the president,” Jones said. “I’m a big fan of the law of attraction where people say, ‘Hey, I’m going to do this,’ and they actually do it. Him saying that ‘I’m going to meet Donald Trump and I’m going to the White House’ and it actually happening. I love that type of stuff.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
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I never had a woman athlete from Chicago to look up to growing up. I’m looking to fill that missing void. This is my city. This is my Dream. I will fill the gap. I will show every little girl in this city & around the world that they can be whatever they choose to be. Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. -Michael Jordan #MyCity #MyDream #RoleModel #Chicago #ChiTown #ChicagosPrincess #TheChiTownPrincess #PearlGonzalez #LookDad #TongueOutLikeImJordan
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I still see this Kid when I look in the mirror!! I lost sight of him for a while someone put if very simply to me the other day “ cowboy it’s hard to be hungry when you full” and all the young hunger killers coming after my legacy. My recent knock with death forged by fire on my never give up never quit!!! Of course you fight! You dig deep and fight to the end. Warriors say their piece before they leave for battle; certainly not during. @mcrindvegas
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Alexander Shlemenko is successful in his first defense of the Bellator middleweight title, defeating Brett Cooper by unanimous decision in the main event of Bellator 198. It would be the first of three straight defenses for Shlemenko. Also on the main card, Derek Anderson made an impressive debut with a unanimous decision win over Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
There are plenty of compelling storylines heading into UFC 228 this Saturday, but let’s take a moment to appreciate two fighters that have been unceremoniously placed on the Fight Pass preliminaries.
It’s understandable with a card featuring this many ranked fighters that some veterans may get lost in the shuffle, so Diego Sanchez and Jim Miller may just be victims of the numbers game. Still, it’s kind of a bummer when you think about how many viewers might miss what could be Sanchez’s last fight (he hasn’t given any indication that this is his last hurrah, but at 36 he is the oldest fighter on Saturday’s card and the clock is ticking) and what will be Miller’s record-breaking 30th UFC appearance.
Think about that milestone. While it might not be sexy to give a fighter points just for showing up, it’s also difficult to imagine any other major league sport not making a bigger deal out of an achievement like this.
So if you have the chance to tune in early, make sure to tip your cap to these two men who, for better or for worse, have made that walk to the Octagon countless times.
Enjoy the fights.
Who is better at bending the truth?
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