With the recent news of Jon Jones being pulled from the main event slot at UFC 200 due to a failed test, this is only another bump in the up and down career of the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion. There is no doubting he is one of the most talented fighters in UFC history, but he consistently makes mistakes out of the cage that affect his legacy in a very negative way. Here I will look at the rise and fall of perhaps the most talented fighter ever.
After wrestling throughout high school and college, Jon Jones decided to drop out of college early to take on a career in MMA. After amassing a 6-0 record in only three months (with all wins coming via stoppage), the young Jones got some attention from the UFC and he got the call in 2008 and he was now as UFC fighter.
His first fight came on short noticed (only two weeks) at UFC 87 and he was victorious and then went on to win his next two fights in dominating fashion as well. He was rewarded for these wins with a shiny new UFC contract and a step up in competition. After performing extremely well against the step up in competition, Jones was chosen to fill in for his teammate, Rashad Evans, in a title fight against Shogun Rua at UFC 128. He was only 23 at the time and if he won the fight, he would be the youngest UFC champion in history.
And that is just what he did, Jones won the fight via TKO and then went on to win his next 9 inside the octagon, en route to being seen by many as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. His key to winning is his amazing ability to use his reach to keep opponents at bay and pepper them with shots while they can’t get inside to touch him. Though he has been in a close fight or two, most of his wins have been dominant.
So while he has shown brilliance in the cage, he has shown almost nothing but stupidity out of it. Jon Jones has a laundry list of controversies that have followed him throughout his UFC career. His first problems were fairly minor and occurred in 2009 and 2011 and were driving offences. But in 2012, things got a lot worse. Jones drove his car into the pole and was later said to have been under the influence while driving, which netted him a fine, a suspended license and a ton of heat from the MMA community.
He made headlines again in 2012 for being the reason for the first ever cancellation of a UFC event. After his opponent pulled out (which is quite common) Jones declined to fight a replacement on short noticed and thus the card was scrapped. Over the next few years he was found to have cocaine in his system, participated in a hit and run with marijuana found in the car, got stripped of his title and got suspended and then was tested positive for PED usage only a few days ago, and was pulled from the biggest card in UFC history.
It is such a shame that the most talent we have ever seen inside a fighter is stuck inside the body of a man who can keep his stuff together.