Jon Jones on Viral Video: ‘Hit List’

UFC Star Jon Jones

Getty

UFC superstar Jon Jones knows what the wrath of UFC president Dana White feels like, but the 33-year-old also understands what it’s like to be someone people in the media like to write about.

Heavy asked Jones what he thought about the viral video White released last week, and the longtime pound-for-pound king of MMA didn’t disappoint with his well-explained answer.

“If you made Dana White’s personal hit list, it’s kind of flattering,” Jones said. “It’s flattering to have the attention of a billionaire, who is running one of the most successful franchises in sports history, a guy who took the UFC from a million-dollar company to a billion-dollar company.”

In that video, White touted his company’s accomplishments and blasted his critics over the heat he received from some in the media about how he handled the UFC during the global pandemic.

If you missed the release of that video last week, you can watch it below.

ALL the latest UFC news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on UFC newsletter here!

Sign up for the Heavy on UFC Newsletter!


Jones: ‘Dana Has Come Out With Some Healthy Strategies’

Jones wonders whether releasing the video was the right move overall but sees at least one big positive about the whole thing.

Jones questioned whether releasing something like that might just create more of the same types of reactions from the media White claims to be against in the first place.

“You know, the media is a real thing. It’s a real thing. They have a lot of power, and I don’t know if Dana showing his frustration toward the media, I don’t know if it gives them more fuel. It definitely lets you guys know the level to which you guys are affecting him,” Jones said.

Still, Jones believes there was at least one big positive aspect of White’s approach. If anything, Jones believes White’s video proves the UFC boss has developed some healthy coping strategies for dealing with other people’s opinions about his decisions.

“What I take away from it is it looks like Dana has come out with some healthy strategies to not give a f*** what people think about him. That’s always healthy. That’s always a good thing,” Jones said.


Jones: ‘I Think It’s Healthy’

Jones laughed when asked about the video’s release, in part perhaps because it was so slanted against White’s supposed enemies but also maybe because someone in the media was asking Jones about it.

“To say you guys have never accomplished anything goes a little far, but to find whatever tricks you have to find to devalue other people’s opinions, I think it’s healthy,” Jones said.

Moreover, Jones backed up White in regards to having one of the toughest jobs in sports and performing at it quite well.

“Dana has a tough job, man. I don’t know what the deeper message was behind that thing he made about you guys, but one thing I do know, when you give a troll fuel, you get more of it. You know? When a troll knows that they’re getting under your skin about something, you get more of it. So maybe this is going to translate into more exposure,” Jones said.


Jones: ‘Dana Is Smart’

Ultimately, Jones likened White’s approach to something that sounded like what some MMA fighters and pro boxers do sometimes when promoting their fights.

It’s not that White doesn’t believe everything he pointed out in the video, it’s just that it’s White’s opinion turned up on the dial all the way from one to 10.

In this way of thinking, the video is less about the media and more about promoting White.

Regardless, Jones said the several media members who made it onto “Dana White’s personal hit list” should probably just be flattered to have made it onto the radar of one of the most successful billionaires in the world.

“You’re just a journalist at home, and you’re on his mind,” Jones said.

Besides, Jones believes White’s long history of success is something that points more towards White having a plan in regards to releasing the video and less toward it simply being an emotional response to the criticisms he faced in 2020.

“It’s going to bring more exposure to Dana. It’s going to have more reporters writing about him. It’s going to have more people giving him attention,” Jones said.

“Dana is smart. Keeping your haters talking is not a bad thing.”


Jones Reveals ‘Coolest Thing’

Jones met with Heavy on UFC last week when he was doing media rounds to help promote boohooMan’s Activewear collection.

Jones, one of the most successful UFC fighters in company history, is a brand ambassador for the company, and it’s something he was just as eager to discuss as all the other important things going on right now in his career.

“I think the coolest thing, honestly, is walking around with a big old boohooMan logo across your chest. As a guy who loves fighting, hunting, the second amendment and just being a manly man, I just feel like this is the brand for me. It really is,” Jones said.

Jones plans to return to UFC action next year as a heavyweight. As part of that process, Jones said he’s already grown out of most of the clothes he wore as the UFC’s 205-pound champ.

“The weight gain process has been different for sure,” Jones said. “It’s more exciting than it is hard work, or anything like that, just to see how I move and how I perform and how I stack up against some of these big, scary dudes out there.”

But Jones isn’t the only fighter to benefit from his move up to the scale.

Jones revealed his new heavyweight frame allowed him to give one of the local MMA fighters in New Mexico some pretty nice stuff to wear as that fighter moves his way up the rankings over at Bellator.

“I’ve got a lot of really nice clothes I’m getting ready to donate to a fighter, some like thousand-dollar suits I’m getting ready to give away to this guy,” Jones said.

READ NEXT: UFC’s Jon Jones Reveals Superfight Choice

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel