MMA star says he is not worried about people who attempt to belittle his career.
Life at the top of the tree in any sport can be a lonely place.
Despite being the best at what you do there are critics everywhere.
And with the explosion of social media in recent years fans can have their say about a famous sportsman not just to others but directly to them.
Despite copping his fair share of tall poppy syndrome in the past two years, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says he is learning to live with the hate directed at him by some in the mixed martial arts community.
Ahead of his sixth title defence when he squares off against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 this weekend, Jones says “haters” are fading into the background for him.
“Maybe I’m just getting more comfortable in my own skin, realising that I’m trying to do things right and that some people are going to love it and some people are going to hate it,” Jones said.
“To be honest with you — and I know this might be controversial and it may get me a lot of backlash — my haters come across as the dumbest people ever. None of them have a real reason not to like me. ‘Oh, you’re too tall.’ ‘I don’t like you.’ Or, ‘You’re this or that.’ None of them come up with anything good or concrete, so I just find them funny.”
Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) is a heavy favourite to become the man with the most title defences in the 205 pound division when he faces Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC).
Some fighters in the sport have accused Jones of being fake and that he projects a very different person when in the public eye.
But the champ even has a comeback for that.
“I am fake,” Jones said.
“I think everyone is fake, to an extent. I have many different sides to me. I can be rude. I can be funny. I can be goofy. I can be cocky at times. I swear I have split personalities. So no one is going to understand me. I’m not meant to be understood.
“You can show up to an arena in a terrible mood, and then when you get the camera and the lights and the fans there, you’ve got to wake up. You’ve got to smile.
“Even if you’re not in the mood to be happy or whatnot, you’ve just got to put it on. So that’s what I mean when I say I am fake. You’ve got to put it on when it’s time to put it on. There are just so many different sides to people.”
However, what is not faked has been his winning streaks, endorsement deals and being the face of not just the UFC but arguably mixed martial arts as a sport.
All of which will be on the line this weekend.