In the build-up to their latest fights, UFC stars Georges St.Pierre and Jon Jones appear to be getting increasingly frustrated by some of the media’s line of questioning.
For instance, GSP will headline UFC 129 on April 30th against Jake Shields in front of the biggest live audience in the UFC’s history, yet all the questions leading up to his fight have been about a potential ‘superfight’ with Anderson Silva later in the year.
It’s clearly a subject that irks the Canadian star, though he continues to give his standard non-committal reply to it when asked, while stressing that he has to beat Shields first.
“It’s something I’m not thinking about right now because it’s not my number one priority,” GSP told Cagewriter.com this week. “I’ve had a lot of success at 170. If I move to 185, I need to talk to my sponsors, my trainers. It’s a complete change of life. Do I want to take the risk, maybe yes. Maybe It’s going to be a great challenge. Maybe, no. But I have to talk with my trainers. … I have to fight Jake Shields, I think Anderson Silva has to fight Yushin Okami.”
Meanwhile ‘Bones’ Jones, who faces the biggest test of his young career when he fights Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua for the 205lb title at UFC 129 in a little over a weeks time, is struggling to keep a lid on his frustrations at the focus of the media’s attention as his big day approaches.
When asked for the umpteenth time in the past week at yesterday’s UFC 128 conference call for his thoughts on a potential fight with his friend and training partner Rashad Evans, Jones embarked on an uncharacteristic rant.
“I want to be clear to other reporters, that I absolutely HATE when people mention Rashad Evans, especially throughout this training camp. He’s a friend of mine but I’m fighting Mauricio “Shogun,” one of the best fighters that’s been around for a long time. So for people to even be mentioning Rashad Evans right now, I think, is ludicrous. Rashad is not in my mind, he’s not in my being, he has absolutely zero to do with my heart and who I am right now.
Right now it’s me vs. Jon Jones and right now I’m beating all the weakness out of myself, I’m beating all the give-up out of myself, I’m beating the lack of cardio, I’m beating the lack of confidence; any sign of weakness that’s within my heart right now, I’m getting rid of it. The fact that people are bringing up Rashad, it almost angers me. Rashad has nothing to do with “Shogun” and I think from here on out I won’t even answer a question about Rashad.”
I think both men have a right to voice their annoyance at the line of questioning they’re being treated to.
For Jones in particular, it has to be kept in mind that he is still only 23, and has been thrown into an unexpected title shot with a legend of the sport at shorter notice than he would have liked. Therefore I think he has to be cut some slack, and it’s unfair to expect him to take his focus off Shogun and start making decisions on a tricky moral dilemma he faces regarding his relationship with Evans.
As far as GSP goes, to be fair it’s not the media who instigated this, but rather UFC president Dana White who started speaking out regarding a potential GSP Vs Silva fight if St.Pierre overcame Shields.
Regardless, with a fight looming with a man who’s gone unbeaten in 15 fights, it’s unfair to GSP and disrespectful to Shields for the subject of Silva to be brought up time and time again.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not saying that these questions shouldn’t ever be asked – some fighters are happy to answer – but while it doesn’t always make for the best headlines, when a fighter says that he’s only focused on the opponent that’s in front of him, you have to accept that this is the case rather than continue to flog a dead horse.
There’ll be plenty of time to get these answers after the fights, and in the mean time we’ve got two fascinating fights to look forward to.