It’s hardly a secret that the talented-but-troubled Jon Jones has a documented history with failed USADA drug tests. You may be a bit surprised, however, to learn that Jones considered leaving MMA forever after his most recent drug suspension due to steroids.
Jones was recently reinstated by the CSAC. The controversial former champ paid a fine and agreed to community service. Jones ultimately received a 15-month ban from USADA after testing positive for anabolic steroid Turinabol during his UFC 214 victory over hated rival Daniel Cormier.
What ‘Bones’ didn’t do was agree to the commission’s request for VADA testing. One of MMA’s most notorious names also recently ramped up his online smack talk against Cormier. Jones will now take on Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of December 29’s UFC 232 and could be champ once again. That’s a far cry from where he was during his latest suspension.
Jones told Sports Illustrated that he considered quitting mixed martial arts forever when he was facing a four-year suspension:
“I considered it. I considered it for a while when the allegation first happened. I realized I was facing four years, possibly not getting back for four years. I considered the idea of just saying forget it. Maybe doing real estate or get
But it was a conversation with someone who asked him if he had actually used steroids. He claimed he did not, so he had to fight to get back to fighting, no matter what that meant:
“I had someone ask, “Jon did you take steroids? Like seriously did you take steroids? And now’s the time you can be real with me. And I said, “No, I didn’t.”
“Well, then why are you hanging your head and thinking about hanging the gloves? You were the greatest fighter ever. If you didn’t do steroids then why are you walking around with so much shame? And sadness? He said, get back on your horse.
“No matter how long it takes. If you have to start fighting in Russia or whatever, China, to get back to being where you want to be, you gotta do it. You just gotta take the long road now. And I said fuck it and made a decision to take the long road, and it is funny how once I accepted
The greatest-yet-most-troubled UFC champ ever then admitted he had fallen into deep depression when he no longer had the belt:
“Without the identity of being light heavyweight champion it was just extremely depressing for a while. Really depressing. I had to learn the value of just being Jon Jones. No matter what happens to me at work, it is a very small part of what my life is.”
However, Jones apparently overcame that hurdle and is looking forward to a bright future. He’s looking to prove he doesn’t need steroids and to silence his doubters:
“I’m in an interesting position. I knocked out Daniel Cormier in my last fight. A lot of people say I could be the best ever. The reality is that I just got accused of using steroids. This next fight allows me to beat a guy a lot people thinks I lost to. And beat him right after this USADA situation. So I can prove so much at once. Okay, I don’t do steroids. I don’t need steroids. I’m obviously not on steroids now, beating a guy everyone thought beat me before. What’s next? What’s your excuse next? How are you going to stop me?”
His focus shifted to Gustafsson, Jones was ready to avenge the loss while showing he’s clean because of USADA testing:
“A lot of people think he beat me the first time. And then a lot of people think I’ve been cheating to win all this time. Which is weird. So I get to prove that I haven’t been cheating; I don’t need to cheat to win. USADA has been testing. I can close a lot of chapters all at once.”