Brian Stann Thinks Jon Jones Can Overcome Failed Drug Test

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As the MMA world digests the fallout of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ failed drug test and subsequent checking into rehab for cocaine use, it’s no surprise to see that many fellow professional fighters have been quick to bash the polarizing fighter.

After all, the UFC has been accused of utilizing some serious double standards in their handling of the situation, as Jones was dealt little more than a slap on the wrist and was publicly commended for his obvious-from-a-PR standpoint trip to rehab.

While it’s a positive thing that “Bones” is supposedly headed for help with his addictive tendencies, it definitely creates a stark contrast for fighters who were fined, suspended, and even cut for using marijuana in-contest.

Jones’ failure was out of contest (OOC), meaning that cocaine wasn’t even on the list of the NSAC’s banned substances. So while the commission tested Jones and new he had failed prior to UFC 182, they still let him fight without repercussion, and he’s not scheduled to receive any.

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Regardless of the details, however, Jones’ former training partner and UFC on FX analyst Brian Stann was one of few fighters who was actually willing to stand up for Jones. Speaking up on FOX Sports 1’s “America’s Pregame,” Stann admitted that while this will obviously affect Jones negatively, he has to look out for his himself and his family above all else:

“It’s going to be difficult. It’s certainly going to be negative for his image. After the [Cormier] fight [Jones] did some interviews where I thought a lot of people really came around and saw the real side of Jon Jones. People started talking and saying, ‘Hey, give the guy a break. He doesn’t have to be perfect. He can be a little mean.’

So I think this swings the pendulum a little bit back in the opposite direction. He’s going to get criticized and he’s going to have to take this one on the chest, but first and foremost he’s got to worry about himself and his family.”

Stann continued on to note that while Jones is entrenched in a difficult battle right now, there is still time to repair his image and turn things around. He evoked a popular yet polarizing President who did just that:

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“But look, this is a country where one of the highest paid speakers in the country is [former U.S. president] Bill Clinton and he’s considered a hero in many ways. [Clinton] has certainly overcome much worse than a positive drug test so I think Jon can overcome this.”

Stann offers a positive point of view for the disgraced champion, yet he may be a bit biased due to his history with Jones. Either way, there’s not much doubt that Jones can turn his career around if he cares enough to work on it, but this isn’t the first time he’s had difficulties with substance abuse.

Whether or not Jones cleans up and takes advantage of his opportunity to become an MMA legend is up to him. He’s obviously a transcendent athlete, but that also means that every detail of his life will be dissected under a microscope in today’s world of social media.

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Not it’s on “Bones” to prove he cares enough to change.