UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was heavily criticized following his recent victory over Glover Teixeira for reaching out with an open hand, constantly keeping his fingers in Teixeira’s face. With the topic of eye pokes and how they affect fight resultsbeing a current hot topic, former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten was asked about and addressed Jones’ approach, amongst other issues, on a recent episode of Inside MMA.
Rutten said, because of Jones' relaxed demeanor, “that is a dirty fighter” when sticking his hand in his opponent's face for such a long time.
There has since been a firestorm of people criticizing Rutten's criticism, so the former UFC champ took to his Facebook page to explain his comments:
“Wow, some people don't listen to what I say, they just ‘assume'. This is what I meant and you can get that from what I said on Inside MMA.
Jon Jones knows exactly what he's doing when he fights, that's why he is such a great fighter. He is calculated and totally aware of what he is doing.
I said in interviews over a hundred times, that the key to be a good fighter is to be relaxed, fight the same under pressure as you do in training and you are good to go.
If Jones wouldn't have been as calm and collected, I could have given this to ‘oops' made a mistake.
Unless he was looking down, I said, (so he didn't know his fingers were in his eyes) he was doing it on purpose. Why else, if he's looking straight at him (I didn't check if he was looking down or up, I also said) would he put his fingers in his eyes for a couple of seconds?
Now the question was if he was a dirty fighter based on the eye pokes, to me THAT was dirty but it's not that he's doing anything else illegal.
Just that, listen, I am in Vegas for a while, I tried to look at the fight on FightPass but apparently FightPass doesn't work in ‘this region'? I have no clue why but that's what it says. So I can't check if he looked down when he was doing this, that is the ONLY way to make it NOT illegal.
That's it, and I will NOT respond to any idiot comments. When somebody can send me a clip of that exact moment, I can comment on that of course because that will reveal if it was on purpose or not.
Party on, and lighten up”