Jon Jones, Christian MMA fighter who is currently the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, has sparked a debate on Twitter among fans who believe that he is avoiding facing Chael Sonnen in the UFC cage.
Although Jones was supposed to fight Dan Henderson in UFC 151 next month, the latter was forced to back out of the fight with a recent knee injury. Dana White, UFC president revealed that Sonnen, 35, was willing to take Henderson's spot in the ring for the title fight.
However, 25-year-old Jones refused the fight much to White's surprise. In a Sports Illustrated report, the UFC president spoke about being shocked that the champion turned down the chance to fight Sonnen.
"We've never, ever had a fighter refuse to fight someone," White said. "As much as [Jones has] won and with all the things he's accomplished in a short amount of time, he's been a champion that hasn't been very popular. I don't think this is going to do wonders for his popularity."
Some UFC fans took to Twitter to echo White's sentiments, accusing Jones of ducking Sonnen and expressing upset at the cancellation of UFC 151.
"If Jon Jones actually believed he was the best he would've taken the Sonnen fight," one person tweeted. "Guess he knows he woulda got beat down #UFC151cancelled."
Although Jones is the youngest title holder in UFC history, some fans began to question if he was the best after he refused to fight Sonnen on short notice.
"Jon jones is gonna duck a fight with Sonnen? Really," another fan questioned on Twitter. "Not sure you're the best in the sport with that attitude."
Sonnen weighed in on the matter, taking to his Twitter account to bait Jones.
"I KNOW you will never fight me. Don't be afraid. But I'll always be the monster in the closet of your mind, little JJ," Sonnen tweeted on Thursday. "[Thirty] min to cement your legacy. Champ or Coward? I make a lot more than you do... Show up in 8 days I'll give you my purse."
After 30 minutes passed, Sonnen tweeted: "Times up."
Jones did not tweet a response at press time on Thursday, but quoted the Bible and Sun Tzu on Wednesday night.
"And therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him," Jones tweeted quoting Sun Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and military general.
The Christian MMA fighter also re-tweeted a passage from Galatians about not giving up.
"Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up," Jones posted on his Twitter account.
While White admitted that Jones' trainer Greg Jackson advised him against fighting Sonnen to save UFC 151, the Christian fighter appeared in a USA Today report speaking about choosing his fights wisely.
"I'll never be a champion that sits on the belt. And even though I've been choosing fights lately doesn't mean that I'll sit on the belt," Jones said on Wednesday. "It doesn't mean I won't fight people. I'm just throwing matches out there that I think are right."