Really Jon Jones?

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Marketing, PR, UFC



Really? Did that just happen?

The UFC had just moved past the “Rampage” … well, rampage through the streets of Las Vegas and now another light heavyweight champion falls from grace with vehicular activity.  The current champion Jon Jones was arrested this weekend for a DUI.

Not the type of activity the UFC wants to see one of its champions engage in.  Especially one that was the recent model of its new UFC clothing line and someone being groomed to be the public face of the organization. (Even I said he could potentially be the next GSP.  However, I doubt Georges is impressed with this performance.)  What’s worse, is this DUI isn’t the first auto incident for the young champion.

I’m sure there will be the usual detractors that jump on this story to give another argument that these fighters are just dumb brutes and not actual athletes.  The sad fact is, activity like this is seen in almost any sport.  Athletes find themselves in a spot where they think they are invincible and act accordingly.

This isn’t a “PR issue” for the UFC as much as it is a public image issue for Jones.  The UFC like the NFL, MLB or NBA is bigger than any one athlete.  Much like these other groups, the UFC can move onward and upward despite the bump in the road.  How this will affect Jones will be directly tied to how he responds to this.  If he meets it head on and shows that he is sorry, he could gain support.  If acts defiantly, he could very well find himself in a position of being someone no one wants to watch fight. Champion or not, the UFC is in the business of satisfying viewers.  If they are no longer in the Jon Jones business, neither will the UFC be.

I’ll be interested to see what is next for Jones.  I mean, Go get some fans Jon

In other news, Nick Diaz has been suspended for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his “extra curriculars.”  Enjoy the time off Nick, I’m sure you’ll find a charity superfight or two to no show while you wait the next year out.

Update: 5/22/12 via Yahoo! Cagewriter:

Jon Jones posted a statement on his Facebook page. He started by saying he “screwed up big time.”

“I’m truly sorry to those of you that I may have embarrassed in any way, to those of you with kids that I may have let down. I will prove to them as well as to myself that no matter what is happening in life, we can always work our way back and make things even better than before.”

Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, went on MMA Weekly Radio and pleaded for fans to give Jones a chance.

“I would just kind of like to let the fans know to give him a chance. Give yourself a chance to get all the facts in yourselves, wait until everything gets said and done, and then at that point if you want to vilify him afterwards and you heard him speak and you heard him say his part and then vilify him, I can’t control what people are going to say. But it is too soon; it is too quick in my opinion. He really is a decent guy. He’s a very, very good guy, trying his hardest to be a good role model, a good example, and he wants to be that. No one’s perfect and he’s never said he was and never said that he doesn’t make mistakes. It’s a fact he made a mistake. He messed up and I’m sure he’s going to come out and apologize and do what he’s got to do.”

Step one is always to address the issue, not run from it so I’ll give the Jones camp credit for that.  We’ll have to stay tuned to see what he does next to try to keep the fans from jumping ship….

  1. ryankorz says:

    It’s been awhile since this broke and it hasn’t raised much attention. He obviously has some very good handlers who have kept him out of the limelight recently and I’m sure he’ll be launching a new polished look when he emerges. For the sake of his UFC sponsorship I’m sure he’ll make every effort to improve his image after this event but honestly it hasn’t seemed to tarnish him all that much anyway which is surprising.

    Then again recently when Overeem finally emerged from hiding everyone was buzzing about who his next opponent will be and not his 14:1 ratio. Eating horsemeat, yeah ok and speaking horses&*t.

  2. […] is one hell of a PR trap “Mr Jones” cannot avoid and certainly will not help him “win some fans.”  He let down his […]

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