Jon Jones is arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time. His longevity at the highest level of the sport is almost unheard of. However, Jones has never had the same mainstream pull that many other stars have had. One could argue that the other stars never even came close to replicating Jon Jones’s resume. Nonetheless, the public moves the needle, and Jones has never had the sway he should have had.
Chael Sonnen, a man that once faced Jones in the cage, has commented on Jones’s ability to sell and why he isn’t amongst the pantheon of greats.
“Jon has always been in a spot where he’s hard to sell. It’s very hard to sell for the same problems that Roy Jones Jr. had. People know how this story is going to end, and he’s not interesting enough of a guy.
“For example, a Floyd Mayweather type. There’s only two fighters in history that can sell on their own. Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya. They need to amend that list to add Floyd Mayweather. You may be able to amend that list another time to insert Conor McGregor.”
Jon Jones has sold 7,122,000 PPVs in his entire career in his thirteen PPV bouts. His highest came in his second fight with Daniel Cormier (860,000). For context, Floyd Mayweather’s two biggest PPV sales against Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao alone come over 9 million. McGregor has sold 9,875,000 PPVs in nine PPV bouts, comfortably beating Jones.
However, just because Jones hasn’t drawn the casual eye does not mean that he isn’t a top draw. Jones was the biggest draw in the Light Heavyweight division on his own, even ahead of Daniel Cormier. However, both their top two selling bouts came against each other. Neither fight generated a million buys, but the 1.6 million over two fights is quite impressive.
But Sonnen has an indisputable point. Jones is not at that level of drawing power, even though he may be the most talented inside the cage. Whether it was his P.E.D. fails, legal troubles, or anything else, we will never know. But it definitely isn’t because Jones isn’t one of the best fighters to step in the cage.
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