Jon Jones has never been in the running for UFC Employee of the Month, and after Tuesday’s news that he failed yet another drug test wasn’t changing that anytime soon.
UFC president Dana White has had several bones to pick with “Bones” over his illustrious (now questionable) career. From not stepped up to fight Chael Sonnen at the last second to save UFC 151, to a DUI arrest, to cocaine, to a felony hit-and-run arrest, to ruining UFC 200 just three days before showtime courtesy of “dick pills,” and now to steroids, Jones could just never seem to get out of his own way.
However, after Jones unleashed a vicious head kick to knock out Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 to reclaim the light heavyweight belt that he never lost in the cage, White sang Jones’ praises. In fact, he said he was “unbelievable.”
Well, White found himself using that same word in discussing Jones today after testing positive for the steroid Turinabol.
“Obviously, it’s brutal. It’s unbelievable,” White said of the most decorated light heavyweight champ in UFC history. “I’m sure I feel the same way every one of you felt when you heard. It’s unbelievable.”
“These always come at a bad time. They’re always bad, especially with somebody like Jon Jones. Wherever you sit in MMA, but to me, he’s the best ever to do it. He’s the best ever, which makes it even more unfortunate.”
TMZ Sports, who initially broke the news of Jones’ flunked drug test, had reported he would be stripped of the title he reclaimed just 24 days ago. However, White said he will allow Jones his due process before deciding what to do with the gold.
If it turns out Jones is guilty, White said Cormier will get his belt back because he didn’t lose it to a clean fighter.
“As far as I’m concerned, Cormier would be the champion,” White stated. “The only guy he’s ever lost to in his whole career is Jon Jones. He was the champ. He’s the champion if Jones isn’t.”
Cormier is currently vacationing in Hawaii with his family. White said he spoke with “DC” after the news broke and said he was just as shocked and speechless as everyone else.
White has not reached out to Jones. It’s highly unlikely he will given their rocky history.
Speaking of history, one of the many questions surrounding Jones’ latest hiccup is how it will affect his legacy. After cementing his spot atop the light heavyweight division by dusting Cormier, many anointed Jones as MMA’s GOAT.
Now with three positive drug tests on his resume – one for cocaine and two for performance-enhancing drugs – his vast accomplishments are certainly suspect.
“If this ends up where he gets a two or three-year [suspension], this might be the end of his career,” White assessed. “So to talk about his legacy? It’s probably be the end of his career. How old is Jon now, 30? Thirty-three-34, trying to make a comeback then?
“You look at the potential and what the kid could have been. Look at Conor McGregor right now. Imagine how big Jon Jones could be right now. How many sponsors he’d have. Who would he be signed with that have never signed a mixed martial artists before. The list goes on and on, on what could have been with Jon Jones. It will be a great ’30 for 30′ some day.”
The USADA can suspend first-time offenders up to two years for steroid use. The ban can be as high as four years for multiple offenses. It will be interesting to see how hard they will drop the hammer on Jones given his shady past.
Please click the media player below to watch White’s scrum: