Me + Mr (Jon) Jones

Editor’s Note: This column was originally published for the See What You Made Me Do newsletter on SubStack.

No one needs to know how the sausage is made. And no one seems to be asking “why” either. But one of the benefits of reading Look at the Things You Made Me Do, is the only order it sticks to in the sweet retreats of whatever the week has thrown at me.

Of course, and after participating in the New York Times My former longtime employer OZY Media and its longtime CEO Carlos Watson were exposed, and after writing about myself not once, or twice, but three hours, looks like I would have had my hands full last week. Watson, after being arrested, charged and convicted of multiple counts of fraud following the guilty pleas of former COO Samir Rao and Chief of Staff Suzee Han, was a joke for the schadenfreude mill. That and OZY finally closing his doors and Watson declaring that he has no money for a defense attorney.

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From the front lines to the back lines: All Eugene S. Robinson, All the time.

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butsince there was so much of that fait accompli to me, there is something snuck ahead of him in my estimation. There will be plenty of time to write about the depredations of Watson and crew, and I will not fear, in the most wonderful ways, whatever time the obscure recesses require. For this week though… it’s sport.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, if sports aren’t your jam. This is what I understand. I understand because, in general, I hate sports too. If I know who your teams are AND I don’t like you, rest assured that I follow your sports enough to know when your team is going to lose because I’m a little bit like that and I’ll be happy, even though you gone, from your sad days afterwards. your team has lost the night before.

Outside of that though? Nothing. No baseball, hockey, football, soccer, basketball, golf, Formula One, tennis, poker, darts, billiards, bowling. Whatever your jam is, I don’t mind there.

Until we start talking about combat sports (also, there is always distribution for bodybuilding, but am I okay not to call that a sport? Yes, I am).

I’m a sucker, mark, patsy, OZY investor, for almost anything to do with fists and the inevitable conclusion that you, no one else but YOU, lack the kinds of talents that guarantee your continued blood. . Sounds quasi-intellectual but hidden behind that is not what will happen this week. This week, truth be told, what will be said is this: only crazy people need to read much further than this because only crazy people will understand it.

You know that line from the 2013 movie Israel Big Bad Wolves which paints a picture of what is at stake here. A suspected criminal is tied up in a basement between a father and a father-in-law. The father is trying to scare him with a gun. His father-in-law, a former Mossad agent, shouts at him.

“Crazy people aren’t afraid of guns,” he says. “People are scared crazy another crazy people.”

So it was that I fought back against the 105 degree heat in Marfa, Texas and left the pool side where creative people were drawn by Scion’s amazing earning power to some kind of Chautauqua. In the cool of the hotel room, a cool 80 degrees, I sat on the edge of my bed and called Malki Kawa, a prominent sports agent for the youngest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Jon Jones.

In every single combat sports interview I’ve ever done or every fighter I’ve ever met – Evander Holyfield, Tank Abbott, Chuck Liddell, Cain Velasquez, Fedor Emelianenko, Daniel Cormier, Dan Hardy, Ryan Bader and the list goes on and on . — I rarely did that without at some point thinking: “yeah… I bet I could give him a run for his money.”

In some case I was given this comfort after being proved out. Cain and Chuck are most famous. How did it go? How do you think it went? After Cain Velasquez I stood on the phone outside the American Kickboxing Academy basking in the sun and singing with Renzo Gracie blackbelt and Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan.

“What did you think was going to happen happen?!?” He asked not really expecting an answer.

I wasn’t sure but as I was barking with Kawa and waiting for Jones to get on the line I was sure of one thing: even if I was given the chance to go in the cage with Jones, I would be in trouble. For many reasons but the most offensive is that Jones would murder me.

“It was like being in a bear cage,” Chael Sonnen told me after his light-heavyweight bout with Jones. Jones broke his toe in the fight, so much so that the bone was pushing through the skin, which would cost the fight if the refs saw it. Because he knew this and knew he had to shut Sonnen down before that happened, he was pretty positive that the bear was just playing before that.

In fact when I finally mention this, halfway through the interview I did with Jones, it would be trouble, a flicker, and then a brief glimpse of the Jones you gave. read about.

“I wasn’t into Chael at all kind of trouble.” And it was all at once. It made me very sad to praise such a thing, and maybe even not to notice how wonderful it really is.

“I meant it because of the toe.”

And he caught himself, as much for the killer as for the tone he caught me. His tone was all contempt and cold. Ice-cold cold. If I said what he thought I said, he would have deserved it. But I didn’t, and while I was thinking “fuck you, bro” I didn’t even come up with the idea that I had any sense trying my (at the time) purple belt brazilian jiu jitsu purple belt skills. against Jones.

“Crazy people aren’t afraid of guns,” he says. “People are scared crazy another crazy people.” Gentiles.

So, on the occasion of the fight that happened last night, a fight that suppressed my week, I went all scary Nostradamus. Flying out of San Jose Airport I ran into Cormier. Unshaven and with food stuck to his face I figured that was a sign that Jones would win. My spies in Vegas told me Jones smelled like alcohol in an interview the day before. That it was a sign that Jones would lose.

In fact, in the end, Jones would win and win, and in the most obvious way, a result that brought me messages from the outside. That’s what sports are all about anyway. Seeing even a little bit of Jones in me or me in Jones, the quality of relatability, I think to see a better skosh for him, the old man, a victory in just over two minutes.

On the another hand also looked slower, heavier (well, yera yeah) and a victim not only of the last three years he was out, but time.

As I write this, my ankle in a cast, and no clocks around my house that run backwards, I dread the sunset of Jones, a once in a lifetime talent.

“You know it’s not death that worries me so much,” a gym sage told me two hours into our three-hour workout. “He’s dying.”

Don’t you know it.

See What You Made Me Do

From the front lines to the back lines: All Eugene S. Robinson, All the time.

Look What You Made Me Do is a reader supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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