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01st Jun 2017

Jon Jones got very nasty on social media overnight

Embracing the heel role

Darragh Murphy

Jon Jones no longer feels the need to feign an image of a wholesome individual.

While he spent the majority of his early years in the UFC viewed as a respectful, hard-working, God-fearing good guy, the former light heavyweight champion is something of a heel nowadays.

A hit-and-run incident in 2015 was followed by a failed drugs test last summer and Jones’ nice guy image is no more.

And he seems to be embracing it.

With the end of his current one-year suspension within sight, Jones has suddenly found his voice again as he prepares for his opportunity to regain the belt he never lost against his fiercest rival, Daniel Cormier.

Cormier vs. Jones II headlines UFC 214 next month and one of the division’s top contenders staked his claim for a shot at the winner when Alexander Gustafsson knocked out Glover Teixeira in stunning fashion on Sunday.

Having already been beaten by both Jones and Cormier, Gustafsson looked better than ever before in his native Sweden, where he put on a striking masterclass against the worryingly durable Teixeira.

“I don’t like him,” Gustafsson said of Jones after Sunday’s bout.

“I give him that. He’s the best fighter of all time. He’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in our division. Of course, everybody knows that. He’s never lost. He hasn’t lost yet. He’s demolished everyone he fights, but as a person, as a champion, he’s not a champion in my eyes. He’s not a good person in my eyes. That’s why I always say I hope ‘DC’ wins because I like the guy. He’s a worthy champion.”

‘The Mauler’ and Jones put on a 205lbs war for the ages when they fought to a bruising decision four years ago.

And when ‘Bones’ got wind of what the Swede had to say about him, he took to social media and let rip in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Gustafsson eventually responded to Jones’ rant when he woke up.

But the last word was left with ‘Bones’ who drew a line under his evening of angry tweeting.