Poet Robert Frost famously wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by – And that has made all the difference.”
UFC president Dana White has said for years that once a fighter wins the title, they need to surround themselves with honest people that will protect them from the “leaches” that will inevitably come. Those leaches will lead you down the wrong path, even though you might not know it at the time.
Most fighters tend to take the Jon Jones road, because, let’s face it, life is far more fun not having to worry about consequences. However, White said champions should follow the lead of Ronda Rousey, who has parlayed her UFC bantamweight championship into mainstream stardom.
“I said a long time ago – whenever somebody wins the belt at such a young age and the money and the fame that goes along with it, it’s going to be a tough ride,” said White on TSN’s ‘Off the Record’ with Michael Landsberg. “You either have the people that go the route of a Ronda Rousey or the people that have gone Jon Jones’. I’d say more people go the Jon Jones route than the Ronda Rousey route.”
Jones has been arrested twice (2012 DWI and 2015 felony hit-and-run), tested positive for cocaine and left marijuana behind his abandoned vehicle after breaking a pregnant woman’s arm in last month’s hit-and-run since capturing the UFC belt in March 2011.
The UFC stripped its most decorated light heavyweight champion of his belt following his latest arrest. Jones’ setbacks have also cost him countless fans and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorships.
Rousey, on the other hand, is currently donning the cover of Sports Illustrated as “the world’s most dominant athlete.” Her autobiography, “My Fight / Your Fight,” hit book bookshelves yesterday and appears destined to be a New York Times Best Seller.
Rousey is backed by every major UFC sponsor, as well as several large brands she scored on her own, has a budding Hollywood career, and most importantly, has avoided the leaches and managed to stay out of trouble.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by – And that has made all the difference.”