It's been an interesting week for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as he prepares to make his first title defense against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 135 in Denver. He's done a lot of press, including yesterday's pre-fight press conference and a Monday night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live alongside Jackson.
Perhaps the pressure is starting to show. In this interview with MMA Nation's Luke Thomas, Jones insists on speaking in a British accent for the duration of the interview. Wow.
When asked about Jackson's previous allegations that Jones had placed a spy in his camp, things get really weird:
Luke Thomas: On a scale of one to ten, one being you didn't even notice it, ten being you couldn't sleep at night, rate the level of distractions in this camp.
Jon Jones: Well, you know, I'm British, so being a double agent is what we do. So, it wasn't a distraction. I simply got caught.
Luke Thomas: ...right. You got caught spying?
Jon Jones: Yeah, he caught me. It was his chef. Chef kinda put me out there a little bit. I'm comfortable with it, too late now.
Check out the complete transcription below.
Luke Thomas: The one and only Jon Jones joins us now. Jon, how are you sir?
Jon Jones: (in U.K. accent) I've been doing well mate. How are you?
LT: (laughs) I'm doing very well. You know Jon, I was at the press conference yesterday and I want to talk about what's going on, in terms of your assessment of "Rampage" Jackson's game. You say it's stagnant. It's a claim that I think is largely true, but what makes you say that? Why, in your judgement, is "Rampage" Jackson's game unevolved?
JJ: Well I don't know mate. I think part of it is that he's surrounded himself with a lot of yes-men. You know, he's in a camp that makes him extremely comfortable, with no one to push him, and really I think that's just going to be the biggest step in the fight.
LT: Are you going to do this whole interview in a British accent?
JJ: Well, this is for all my U.K. fans. Yes.
LT: Alright. I guess we'll roll on. The inability of "Rampage" Jackson to put Matt Hamill away; you blew through him, then Alexander Gusstafon blew through him. Can people read to much into that win? He dominated, but the fact that he was unable to put him away, does that say something about Jackson's game?
JJ: Well no, I don't think it says much about his game. Maybe about his punching power. Styles make fights, and "Rampage" definitely has an awesome style to finish the fight, but he wasn't able to do it. So it doesn't tell me much about the game plan, but his punching power seems to be suffering.
LT: Is it annoying to you that he, and others, suggest your win over "Shogun" Rua came at a time when "Shogun" -- in their judgement anyway -- is believed not to have been 100 percent, hadn't really fully recovered from knee surgeries. Does that annoy you at all?
JJ: No, it's not annoying at all. I think "Rampage" needs to tell himself certain things to reassure himself that I'm not, maybe, what I'm hyped up to be.
LT: Relative to other camps, and we can go back to the Brandon Vera camp and other camps you've had, this is the most high-profile one. Certainly new for you, it's your first title defense, but at the same time there were a lot of distractions, particularly with the Spygate thing. On a scale of one to ten, one being you didn't even notice it, ten being you couldn't sleep at night, rate the level of distractions in this camp.
JJ: Well, you know, I'm British, so being a double agent is what we do. So, it wasn't a distraction. I simply got caught.
LT: ...right. You got caught spying?
JJ: Yeah, he caught me. It was his chef. Chef kinda put me out there a little bit. I'm comfortable with it, too late now.
LT: Alright. You've trained with Carlos Condit, you know GSP well. What chance do you give Carlos Condit and his chance to take the title at UFC 137?
JJ: Well both Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit are my mates, and I really don't want to see them fight each other, but they have to. I'm going to stay neutral and say may the best man win.
LT: You have a huge adoring fanbase but you've also developed a polarizing effect, almost unintentionally, between fans. You've got a lot of them that hate you and a lot that love you. But what's strange to me is that you don't go out of your way, like Mayweather, I believe. Why do you believe you have this polarizing effect?
JJ: Well, you know, it's sports. I've got the greatest fans, and I'm just like the Patriots. That's just the way it is.
LT: When you look at champions in other sports, you can pick combat sports or whatever, are there any you decide to model your behavior after, in terms of out of competition. Not so much in the Octagon, but out of it.
JJ: I guess the person I (inaudible) the most is (inaudible). He said a lot of things and he's quite fascinating of a man.
LT: And are you going to do your post-fight interview, should you win, in this British accent?
JJ: Absolutely mate. Maybe I might even go France.
UPDATE: For any doubting the validity of this bizarre interview, Jones' manager Malki Kawa confirmed via Twitter that it was in fact the young light heavyweight champion.