Jon Jones: MMA's Tiger Woods


Right before I started writing my Jones vs. Cormier pre-fight analysis, the UFC called for a surprise press conference. As soon as the notice was given, I knew something was terribly wrong. After all, we were days away from the company's biggest Pay-Per-View card. Surprisingly, everything had sailed rather smoothly. No injuries or suspensions. So even if I was prepared to receive bad news, I was mortified when I heard that USADA had flagged Jon Jones with a potential anti-doping violation, and therefore removing his upcoming title fight.


Funny thing is, I shouldn't be mortified. For as much as I enjoy and appreciate Jon's work inside the octagon, his personal life has been full of run-ins with the law. Following his UFC debut, minor incidents started to pile up: unsafe passing, drifting, driving into a pole, etc. However, the gravity of his problems escalated rather quickly. He tested positive for cocaine metabolites and committed a hit and run that kept him off the octagon for a year. Similar to Tiger Woods, his spectacular abilities are far too often overshadowed by his out-of-competition decisions.

And while past mistakes have affected his environments, family, and community, no offense has damaged his professional career as much as this one does.

Numerous things about Jones' violation have surfaced. Although we still don't know what he popped for, two substances were found in his body. They can't be recreational drugs (marijuana, cocaine), so we're likely looking at PEDs. Unless proven to be wrong, USADA could suspend him for two years.


The whole situation hurts multiple people, on many levels. The entire UFC staff, who is bound to work many hours. The fans, who were excited to watch the rematch (many flew to Las Vegas solely to see that bout). Of course, UFC 200 takes a big hit. It's still big business, but I doubt it'll break UFC 100's record. But make no mistake about it, the real victim is Daniel Cornier.


To be honest, I feel extremely bad for Cormier. Jones' irresponsibility could have cost him the biggest paycheck of his career (luckily, Anderson Silva stepped in). Even worse, I don't see the fight ever taking place. Which means DC will never have a chance at redemption. He will never know if he was good enough to beat the guy who broke his undefeated record. In my opinion, the Cormier-Jones war is over. Cormier came out on top. Jones defeated himself.


Through the past 24 hours, I've experienced a variety of emotions. Sadness, confusion, anger. I finally settled with disappointment. It's depressing to witness one of the best mixed martial artists of all time flushing his career down the toilet. He was given chance after chance to clean his name. To protect his legacy. In the words of his longtime rival, to "get his shit together."

To this day, he simply can't seem to be saved from himself.

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