Newly-crowned UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones sought to make amends with a female MMA journalist he criticized ahead of his UFC 232 victory over Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday night.
The event was switched from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at just six days’ notice to allow Jones to compete in the main event after an abnormality appeared in his pre-fight drug test.
Anti-doping administrators USADA cleared him to fight, but there was a degree of skepticism among some sections of the fanbase and media, leading to some pointed questioning at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
Jones took particular exception to the direct line of questioning delivered by Swedish journalist Izabelle Kostic.
Responding to her initial question with a dismissive “Next question,” Jones then went on to criticize Kostic, saying “you suck,” and asking for “better journalism.”
It resulted in Jones receiving widespread criticism from media outlets covering the event, and when the fighter returned to the dais for the UFC 232 post-fight presser, he took the opportunity to apologize directly to Kostic after spotting her among the gathered media.
“Sister here with the camera,” he said, addressing Kostic, “I was extremely disrespectful to you and I am sincerely sorry.
“I was ready to fight and I felt a little bit of, maybe, an attack and I wasn’t in the mood to lose.
“Yeah. I was just not in the mood to lose, not even a verbal argument. I am so sorry for disrespecting you.”
While Kostic did not respond verbally via the microphone at the presser, she did acknowledge Jones’ apology via social media, saying he “chose to be the bigger man.”
Jones’ apology came in the immediate aftermath of his dominant third-round knockout victory over Sweden’s Gustafsson in their world title rematch in Los Angeles.
Jones then proceeded to call out old rival Daniel Cormier for a third bout, challenging the UFC heavyweight champion to drop back down to 205lbs to face him again.