Even on the day they were to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson made one thing very clear: They’re here to fight. Not to talk.
Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, is scheduled to defend his belt against Jackson at UFC 135 in Denver on Saturday. He said on a conference call with the media today that he understands and fulfills his obligation to do prefight press, but doesn’t exactly like it.
(Paging Nick Diaz …)
“Ultimately, I’m very aware of why I’m here,” Jones said from Los Angeles. “I’m not here to show that I’m a better talker, to show that I’m better at arguing, show that I’m better at insulting. That’s not my mission. …
“To be honest, if I had it my way, I’d probably do as limited media as possible. This stuff is recommended by Dana White — it’s somewhat mandatory. So I’m strictly doing my job. My job isn’t to outtalk him. You’re talking about an opponent who threatens and harasses literally every opponent in his career’s history. …
“When I’m in the Octagon on the 24th, that’s when I’ll demand my respect.”
Jackson, likewise, said he doesn’t care about the talk.
“He can paint any type of picture he wants to paint,” the former LHW champ said. “I don’t care if I’m in his head or not. That’s not my job, either.”
Also on the call, Hall of Famer Matt Hughes clarified the circumstances that led to him facing Josh Koscheck in the co-main event.
He was in training when he heard his original opponent, Diego Sanchez, had pulled out of the fight with a broken hand.
“The first thing that came to mind here at training was that, for quite a little while, I’d been expecting to fight on this card, and now it’s not happening,” he said. “It was kind of confusing when ‘DW’ called me … He originally said [in a message that I’d be fighting Jon] Fitch. I was jumping on a flight, and when I called him back he said ‘No, it’s Koscheck.’ Really, it’s Dana’s call. It’s not even my call to decide who it’s going to be. I said ‘Yeah, whoever you want.’ And the fight went on from there.”
Hughes spent four weeks of his training camp in Salt Lake City to prepare for the altitude in Denver. Koscheck, who took the fight on only 19 days’ notice, said he’s not worried because he’s “always in good shape.”
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