Jon Jones has been setting records for all the wrong reasons lately.
When he should be setting marks in the Octagon that no fighter could ever attain – number of title defenses, most victories, most finishes, etc. – Jones has instead become known for blowing more opportunities than any other fighter.
Jones is still writing the book on his career, but when it is finished, it looks like the spotlight is going to shine brightest on him becoming the first fighter in UFC history to be stripped of not one, not two, but three championships.
Jones was first stripped of the belt when he got involved in a felony hit-and-run accident in which he fled from the scene. He returned to Octagon to capture an interim version of the light heavyweight title that he lost while dealing with his legal issues. The interim belt was taken away when Jones tested positive for the banned substances clomiphene and letrozole prior to a planned unification bout with Daniel Cormier.
After returning from suspension, Jones made it all the way to the cage with Cormier at UFC 214. He knocked the champ out, making what was then defined as one of the most epic returns in sports history. That didn’t last long, however, as it was later revealed that a drug test sample collected on the day of weigh-ins returned positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Shortly thereafter, he was stripped of the title for a third time.
If things don’t take a miraculous turn in his favor, Jones is likely facing a rather lengthy suspension of somewhere between two and four years. Currently 30 years old, that could be a career killer for Jones.
UFC president Dana White characterized Jones’ fall from grace as one of the most egregious wastes he’s ever seen.
“(Jon Jones is the biggest waste of talent) ever, in all of sports. The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he’d be doing right now if he’d never gotten in trouble,” White said on TSN’s MMA Show.
“He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken; the list goes on and on of what could have been with Jon Jones.”
After so many false starts and reboots, White appears to be done with Jones. Wearing the years of frustration in the tone of his voice, White is ready to move on from what could have been.
“Whatever happens, happens. Believe me, I’m not mentally or emotionally invested in (Jones) anymore.”