Yes, Jon. You did let me and millions of other fans down, but I don’t think it’s for the reason you probably think it is.
See, I don’t think you’re a bad person because you’ve made mistakes. I don’t think you’re a bad person at all! The only difference between you and me in terms of fucking up in life, is that I have some anonymity, while your fame and money guarantee that there will always be a public out there waiting for you to fail so they can delight in their judgment of you. I absolutely believe in redemption and I hope I get to see you get back everything you’ve lost and more. But first, I want to see you really earn it. Not just by winning belts, you’ve proven you can do that time and again. I want to see you act like a champion that feels the weight of that honor and of the responsibilities that come with it.
Making jokes at your expense is just how I cope with the possibility of yet another disappointment. I cannot allow myself to believe that you’ll really be back in the Octagon fighting for the title again until I actually see it with my own eyes. Call me skeptical, but fool me once, shame on you… you know the rest.The majority of us will spend our entire lives paying for one youthful mistake, but you’ve been given opportunities not afforded to most. After all that you’ve messed up, you are being given the kind of opportunity most people could never even imagine.
You didn’t just cost the UFC money, or the fans’ trust, but you also robbed Cormier of the biggest fight of his career. He trained for and deserved the chance to fight that fight and win or lose on his own merit. His title is tainted and everyone knows he’s a paper champion, just a placeholder unless and until he proves he can beat you. Look, I’m not a huge DC fan, but I do believe in fairness and what you took from him wasn’t fair. Own it.
Don’t talk shit about him yet. You haven’t earned that right until you finally step in that cage, humbled by the amazing gift you’re being given. You’re an incredibly skilled athlete and a talented fighter, but it takes more than that to be a real champion.
Do you have my support? Absolutely. Your remarkable talent means you’ll be discussed in the best P4P discussions forever. I’m not one of the people that wants you to fail. I hope your fighting career ends with total redemption and that you don’t allow these mistakes to define you or dictate your future. But hope is all I have for now and life is not guaranteed a happy ending.
You have the power to prove all of us that have doubted you wrong or you can solidify your role as the biggest waste of talent in UFC history. That’s a lot to put on such a young man, but that’s why you get the big checks.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to you instead of just about you and I will always keep a screen shot of your message handy, as it gives me mad street cred with the mma nerd crowd. Thank you for that and I appreciate and respect the gesture, even if your response is to ignore me or just tell me to go fuck myself. I’ve been a die hard fight fan for 15 years, attended nearly a dozen live events, and nowhere else in professional sports can you find more accessible and fan-friendly athletes.
Good luck with the rest of your camp and with the biggest fight of your life. Along with the rest of the world, I’ll be watching.