Jon Jones UFC 145UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was by far the most talked about athlete heading into Saturday night’s UFC 152 card for a myriad of reasons.

At the top of the list were the questions about Jones turning down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151, an event that was ultimately cancelled when no main event could be retained for the show.

But prior to UFC 152 on Saturday, commentator Joe Rogan sat down with the 205-pound king to discuss another matter – his arrest and conviction earlier this year on charges of driving under the influence.

Jones was arrested on May 19 for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and ultimately led to the New York native being fined $1,000 and having his driver’s license suspended for the next six months.

Looking back on the situation, Jones says that the DWI was a wake-up call, but mostly served notice that he wasn’t perfect and showed everyone he was capable of making mistakes.

“I believe in some cases MMA fans, and just fans of sports in general, have short memories. I actually believe my DUI set me free in some ways. It set me free from a lot of fan expectation. I was definitely coming into a sport as a young man trying to be perfect for people, and that’s why people call me fake. I wasn’t doing myself justice at all,” Jones said when speaking to Rogan during the UFC 152 prelims on FX.

“I was kind of living miserably trying to be the golden boy for the UFC. So my DUI, it was terrible to get behind the wheel of a car while I was already under the influence, it was a bad decision, but it set me free. Now people know, yeah, I will drink on occasion, and I am a 25-year-old guy who does dumb stuff.”

Jones admits that the end result of driving drunk could have been deadly for others as well as an obvious danger to his own health, but he tries to turn the whole ordeal into a positive.

Now, Jones looks back on his DWI as a way to grow as an adult and he’s looking forward to pressing through the adversity as he heads into his next fight on Saturday against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.

“I guess the biggest thing I learned from the situation is how things could have gone wrong. I could have hurt someone; I could not be sitting here right now. I could be dead and I’m blessed that didn’t end up happening. My life, I’m doing so well at a lot of things and you can find yourself becoming bored in a way. Bored with such a routine in life and everything,” said Jones

“So to go through such struggle and have so many people criticizing me, whether it’s about the (UFC 151) cancellation or the DWI, it’s all a blessing. It’s another opportunity to grow as a man.”

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