Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been called many things throughout his illustrious mixed martial arts career, but cokehead should not be one of them despite testing positive for the drug just 31 days prior to his successful title defense against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.
However, you can call Jones a pothead and an alcoholic. Correction, you could have called Jones a pothead and an alcoholic in the past.
In what all accounts seems to be the most candid and raw interview Jones has ever conducted, the troubled 28-year-old revealed to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com that he has never had a cocaine problem, but was addicted to marijuana and alcohol.
Since April’s felony hit-and-run arrest, Jones claims he’s seen the light and cleaned up his life.
“I don’t drink anymore,” Jones stated. “I don’t smoke marijuana anymore. It has been, maybe, three or four months now. It’s not difficult. I’m honestly excited to be set free from that. It took time for me to acknowledge that I had a little bit of a problem because I was able to take care of my family, I was able to win fights, I was able to pretty much hide it from the world that I was smoking pot and drinking three or four days a week.
“I was handling my life just fine, so I didn’t think I had a problem. But now that I’m completely sober, I totally had a problem. I’m upset about all the hours I spent being under the influence and all the dollars I spent getting under the influence, and I’m set free from it.”
Jones admitted that he “had a lot of fun” during his camp leading into September 2013’s instant classic win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. Jones said he was gassed out after the second round and had to dig deep to pull out the controversial unanimous decision win.
For the most part, Jones has been radio silent since his arrest, which resulted in the UFC stripping him of his light heavyweight title and temporarily suspending him. In this interview, Jones revealed that the reason he bolted from the scene after causing a three-car accident, where a pregnant motorist ended up breaking her arm, was because he had been drinking heavily and “probably still smell like the night before.” Despite sleeping off the booze, Jones admitted he was still “really tired” when he got behind the wheel. The music was blasting and he was texting on his cellphone when he ran the red light.
Now that Jones is sober, he’s able to see the world and his once/still promising career clearer than ever. Speaking of being clear, Jones reiterated that he was never a cocaine addict. Marijuana was always his drug of choice.
“It’s crazy with the cocaine thing. I don’t like coke. I’m not a coke guy,” Jones said. “I smoked marijuana, quite frequently. And people who know me, they know that about me. And I love to drink. I can honestly say, I can partied with the best of ’em. But cocaine, I tried cocaine one night, and the athletic commission is there the next day. It’s like, how in the world did this just go down? How did it happen this way? And now I’m painted as this coke head, and of course my haters would love for me to be a coke head, but far from it. I would have never been able to accomplish the things I have with cocaine, but I was addicted to marijuana. And because you can do so much while being a marijuana addict, it’s hard to admit that you’re an addict. But I was, and now I’m not.”
In September, Jones pled guilty in an Albuquerque courtroom to one count of leaving the scene of an accident, a fourth degree felony. He was handed 18-months probation and ordered to make 72 appearances for charity or youth outreach.
The UFC reinstated their most decorated light heavyweight champion one month later. Jones is expected to get an immediate shot to reclaim his throne against champ Daniel Cormier upon return, which could be as early as April 23 in Madison Square Garden.