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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
After Lyoto Machida defeated Ryan Bader earlier this month at UFC on Fox 4, UFC President Dana White announced that he'd get a shot at the winner of the Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson Title bout at UFC 151 next month. That shot was granted despite the fact that he had been choked out by Jones in his previous bout last December, and now Jones says it's not a fight he's all that keen on taking again.
"I don't want to fight Lyoto Machida," Jones said in an interview with ESPN.com when asked about the bout. "He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year. No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida. I don't want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward.
"He's a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight. Between [Mauricio] Shogun [Rua], [Quinton] Rampage [Jackson] and Rashad [Evans], Lyoto was my lowest draw. Why would I want to fight someone where it's a lose-lose situation? I won't make money on it. And he's a tricky fighter."
Jones of course has to get past Henderson before the Machida fight becomes an issue, but he's not sure how he'll approach the UFC if that's the fight presented to him next. Still, that's an issue for later in the year, as Henderson is up next on Sept. 1.
"I don't think it's appropriate to be talking about fighting anybody but Dan Henderson," Jones said. "I'm clearly focused on Dan Henderson. I'm not overlooking Dan."
Penick's Analysis: Jones was asked a question and he answered it, and he's not unreasonable for thinking any of this. Saying it out loud may be a different story. Fans don't want to hear about the business end of things, and Jones brings backlash against himself at times when he makes these types of comments. I don't hold it against him, and he's not wrong for not wanting to take that fight again. It's a puzzle he's already figured out once, and a fight he finished in decisive and vicious fashion, and when it's not a rematch everyone's clamoring for it does mean less money for him from a pay-per-view drawing standpoint. It's a reasonable stance to take, but vocalizing it in an interview isn't always the best way to get these feelings across. Still, if the UFC wants him to take that fight next, they may have to make it worth Jones' while from a monetary standpoint regardless of the pay-per-view sales.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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