In a snippet of his 1-on-1 interview with Yahoo Sports MMA insider Kevin Iole, the UFC legend speaks about his nerves – as well as his confidence – as he gets set to face Ciryl Cane this Saturday for the vacant heavyweight title.
KEVIN IOLE: You said something to Jimmy Smith on Sirius, and I just want to read you the quote because I thought it was fascinating and very interesting on your part, you said, I stopped studying footage as much, I started just looking forward to another day at the office, the fear was gone, I really didn’t fear those guys and I wasn’t happy with my pay either. I was starting to fight guys like Dominick Reyes who had been dreaming of fighting me probably since he was in college, and he was just relatively unknown to the general public. I wanted more, I wanted to be nervous again, I wanted to have fear again, I think fear is healthy. And now we’re in this position, the heavyweight division has never been scarier, and I’m glad to be in the middle of it. You don’t sound like too scared, you sound like a pretty confident.
JON JONES: Fast reader Kevin.
KEVIN IOLE: I stumble.
JON JONES: I know, I see you. I see you. I am nervous. I am nervous, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. I’m sure [? surreal ?] is nervous, anybody who care about what they’re doing grab nervousness. But it’s my job to put on my game face and to get out there and do what I got to do. There’s guys out there with much more difficult jobs than this. And I owe it to my championship spirit, I owe it to my faith to speak like a winner. So to have conversations with myself that a winner would want to hear, that’s something that Mr David Goggins was just telling me. He was like, when you start to talk to yourself, make sure you say things to yourself that a winner will want to hear, you know what I mean.
So it’s my job to talk big [BLEEP] to sound maybe slightly arrogant to speak very highly of myself. I owe it to myself. And I have to believe before I can make the world believe. So the truth is, I’m nervous. It’s scary to get back out there in front of millions of people, and probably the biggest fight I’ve ever been a part of. Take it off your shirt in front of the world and risk and all the vulnerability that comes with fighting in that ring. But it’s my job, it’s the life that I live in. It’s the world, it’s the life that I chose, the life of the warrior. You got to do hard [BLEEP], and that’s what I’m going to do.