Before any of these comparisons to Muhammad Ali ever came up, many pundits actually believed UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones (Pictured) could emerge as the Mike Tyson of mixed martial arts. Both fighters viciously became dominant world champions at a young age and are polarizing and marketable figures outside of the ring/cage – which is a proof positive recipe for mainstream transcendence.
Unfortunately for Jones, the 24-year-old took another step in Tyson’s direction when he was arrested last Saturday morning. “Bones” barreled his $190,000 Bentley into a pole in New York and was put behind bars for suspicion of DUI.
Tyson was considered by many as the baddest man alive during his heyday, but the boxer was also convicted of rape in 1992. The then-26-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison but was released after serving half of his term. So, if anyone can understand what Jones might be going through, it’s “Iron Mike.”
Paul Heyman caught up with Tyson on Friday and asked the legend how Jones can right the ship before it crashes into an iceberg and sinks like the Titanic.
“It depends on Jon, basically,” Tyson expressed. “What Jon wants to do is where Jon’s gonna go. Number one, an incident like this, it basically turns into support system. A guy like me, when I was living my life I had millions of dollars, but I didn’t have a support system. I had a bad support system so I received bad support. So an incident like this, no one really knows Jon Jones, we just know he’s a splendid fighter.
“I just wish the best happens out of this situation because just like so many people love him, there’s very few people out there that’s in a position to put him in a bad place. And we’re gonna find out from this situation if Jon Jones is gonna make us continue to love him for his great fighting and the way he carries himself as a great individual and a humanitarian, or he’s gonna let the bright lights and the dark shadows invade his life and he’s just gonna be one of those rising meteors that just flies through the air and lights the world up and then he dies down in a moment.”
UFC president Dana White summoned Jones to his office in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend for a heart-to-heart conversation.
Please click the media player below to watch Tyson’s interview with “Hustle Heyman”: