Body language experts dissect Jon Jones’ Fox Sports interview: ‘There’s something he’s not saying here’

Depending on who you believe, body language can tell you just about everything to do with how a person is really feeling when they're…

By: Zane Simon | 8 years ago
Body language experts dissect Jon Jones’ Fox Sports interview: ‘There’s something he’s not saying here’
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Depending on who you believe, body language can tell you just about everything to do with how a person is really feeling when they’re out in public. Whether it’s a wayward glance or an overly assertive or dismissive posture, the art of breaking down how people move and act to interpret what they’re thinking or feeling is hardly a new art. Thus, in the name of answers, and potentially science, Yahoo Sports has brought Jon Jones’ recent interview with Fox Sports (as well as a number of other Jones interviews for comparison) to the body language expert community, in search of the truth. Their verdict: He’s showing a lot more than he’s telling.

Two analysts were brought in. The first, Janine Driver (president of the Body Language Institute), focused on “red flags” :

“When [Jones] answers that, no, he did not use cocaine from the time he took the [positive] test to the fight, he responds with a strong denial. He says, ‘No. No, I did not.’ This is the best denial and is often heard from honest people,” Driver explains.” “However, we then see a smile. This is called ‘duping delight’ and this is indicative of someone who is being deceptive. This indicates to me there’s something he’s not saying here.”

“When again asked by the reporter, other than in college, this one time before the fight is the only time he had used cocaine, [Jones] responded, ‘Yeah, pretty much…’ This is more “squishy language” and it indicates he’s not giving us the whole truth,” Driver says. “He also does an eyebrow flash here, which indicates surprise. What is he surprised about?”

The second analyst, an expert in “non-verbal communication,” Patti Wood, took a much more generalist approach:

“Though at first glance he seems amazingly calm, and matter of fact, if you look closely and examine his subtle nonverbal cues, he shows tension. There are indicators he is holding his deep displeasure [with having to do the interview, or the answers he’s giving]; he pulls back on volume of his voice,” Wood points out. “The interviewer is speaking in a clipped, loud, assertive voice; he is not matching her volume or assertiveness, which would be normal if he was totally relaxed, and revealing everything. Instead, oddly we see this big [fighter] whispering back his answers.”

Jones says, ‘I am not here to make excuses.” This is an interesting statement. People who are demonstrating true integrity and honesty in revealing everything would not even feel the need to say that. He then follows that with, ‘Basically, I was at a party.’ Basically acts as a curtain word that covers up the truth and details of what happened at the party. I typically only hear someone use a curtain word in interviews and interrogations and courtroom testimony when they are hiding the truthful details. You don’t typically use ‘basically’ in everyday conversations. A scientist might use the word when trying to describe a complex process that he doesn’t want to spend the time describing to a novice in his field. Jones is not telling you how wild his behavior really was.”

Check out the whole thing! Both analysts went into a lot more detail than just what’s above, and it’s definitely worth a look.

I don’t know how much could come of their analysis, but both experts seemed to agree that Jones was not quite as truthful or forthright as he could have been. The UFC and Jones both seem to be fairly set on moving forward, however. Having issued the champion a $25,000 fine, no further moves have been made by the UFC to punish Jones for his drug test results.

For more analysis on what Jon Jones’ positive drug test for cocaine could mean for his career, here’s Kid Nate and Eugene with their thoughts:

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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