Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is probably the best fighter in mixed martial arts history. He lost only by a problematic disqualification, in which controversial referee Steve Mazzagatti asked a deaf Matt Hamil if he was OK following Jonesâ€™ landing a vestigially prohibited 12-6 elbow. Jones record against himself is another matter.
â€˜Bonesâ€™ ran his rental into a vehicle operated by a pregnant woman breaking her arm, and then fled; his title was stripped. He took a bootleg erectile dysfunction drug, ordered by acquaintances along with prohibited doping drugs; his title was stripped. In the latest incident he tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, source unknown; and once again, his title was stripped.
â€œHeâ€™s not a â€˜just about the moneyâ€™ type guy,â€ said White, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. â€œHeâ€™s really not that kind of guy. I just think that Jon likes to party and heâ€™s a guy that likes to go out and have fun and do whatever it is that he does, and I think the money and the fame made it a thousand times worse.
â€œThis guy couldnâ€™t control himself and would completely go off the deep end. Iâ€™m not sitting here acting like Mr. Holier-than-thou, weâ€™ve all gone and had fun and probably partied a little too much here and there, but he consistently, consistently kept doing it. Even when he would completely f*** up, he would pull himself together and come out and completely f*** up again. Even this last time when he came back, fans forgave and he was the most popular fighter and everybody wanted to see this guy succeed, and he did it again. Itâ€™s just unbelievable.â€
Jones issues are not limited to errant elbows and USADA violations. He was arrested in 2012 for DUI but avoided jail time. In 2015 he got 18 months probation for the aforementioned leaving the scene of an accident causing injury. And in 2016 he was arrested on a probation violation after a drag racing citation. White considers these legal issues more telling.
“Even worse than that, this guy was looking at jail time,” said White. “This judge gave him another shot and this guy was looking at some serious jail time and a lot of bad stuff and that still didn’t wake him up. If that’s not a wake-up call, you’re unfixable.”
All that said, Jones failures are more stupid than wicked. And the latest flagged test is baffling in that the window during which the anabolic steroid Turinabol entered his system is such that Jones would have known he would be caught, given that he would be tested on fight day. Jones has a hearing with the California Athletic Commission in December that may decide his latest suspension. As USADA fines double, he is likely looking at two years if found responsible, but it could be more, or less.
In the meantime, Jones is back in training.