Jon Jones: Why His Pious Claims Have No Place in MMA

Posted on Sep 26 2012 - 6:47pm by James MacDonald

It would appear that God is a sports fan—let’s briefly assume such an entity exists. From MMA to synchronized swimming, he is profoundly invested in the outcome of sports competitions. We know this because athletes like Jon Jones routinely thank the almighty for engineering their success.

And people think TRT poses a problem for the sport of mixed martial arts? When you have an invisible space daddy fixing the results of sporting competitions, like the omniscient leader of an illegal gambling syndicate, PEDs are the least of your worries.

In all seriousness, whence comes this notion that God cares about who prevails at the next UFC fight card? The very idea that the so-called creator of the universe is sitting in the clouds, manipulating the two fighters like a couple of chess pieces, is so utterly absurd that it could only arise in the absence of critical thought.

Indeed, holding such a belief tells us a great deal more about that person than it does about the nature of reality. As Sam Harris once pointed out, this kind of faith is the very definition of narcissism. To believe that God is aiding your fighting career while allowing millions to die tragically demonstrates little more than a lack of compassion for other, less fortunate human beings.

I regret that I feel compelled to pen an article so laced with theology, but the athletes who compete in the sport we love inject their religious ruminations where they simply do not belong. And if they insist on mixing religion and sport, they should expect to be challenged on their views.

When Jon Jones suggests that Vitor Belfort is a worthy title contender because he is “a Christian like I am”, he is denigrating those who hold different beliefs. Would Vitor have been less worthy if he was a Muslim, a Jew, or an atheist? With that said, Yahweh clearly believes Jones is the more sincere Christian, at least based on what happened at UFC 152.

Fighters are frequently admonished when they make offensive remarks, so why does such blatant sectarianism go unchallenged by the MMA media? It is time for fans and media to object to the pious claims of Jon Jones and others who make similarly divisive and unjustified religious proclamations.