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Death threats and lobby brawling do little to aid Jones’ UFC public image

| 12.08.2014

Controversy in the UFC is nothing completely out of the ordinary for light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

After all, UFC 151 was cancelled pretty much single-handedly on account of Jones refusing to defend his belt against Chael Sonnen, who had agreed to step in for the injured Dan Henderson with little more than a week’s notice.

UFC president Dana White was among those to criticise Jones’ decision and that did turn some MMA fans against him given the repercussions it had on them and the other fighters that were scheduled to be on the card.

And Jones’ latest altercations with UFC 178 opponent Daniel Cormier would have done little to win him any more friends either or repair some of his damaged public image.

First, the pair had a brawl in the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during a media day to promote their title clash.

Jones was largely the instigator by sticking his head directly into that of the former Olympic wrestler, who refused to be intimidated and retaliated.

There have been contrasting opinions over whether such scuffles are good for the perception of the UFC, but no argument can really be made in relation to the latest developments of the feud.

After an ESPN interview when it was believed that the on-air mics were switched off, Jones started a verbal exchange, calling Cormier a p**** and threatening to kill him. Not particularly shrewd for a fighter that is no stranger to mentioning his Christian beliefs.

So what next? There are still the best part of six weeks to the fight and with no-contact order not in place, it is difficult not to foresee more hullabaloo before fight night on September 27th.

In terms of the probable result between two fighters who in reality are still unbeaten, Jones is favourite at 1/2 to make a ninth successful title defence.

And his coach Mike Winkeljohn believes the champ will get the job done by submission.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune