Although the future is unclear for former dominant light heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound king Jon Jones, who was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges in April, then stripped of his title and suspended, it seems as if “Bones” is remaining in good spirits.
One of Jones’ teammates from the famed Jackson-Winklejohn gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Igor Araujo, recently spoke up with MMAFighting on the now disgraced former champion. Araujo mentioned that Jones still trains every day, he’s in shape, and he’s remaining positive:
“He trains every day. He’s always joking around and laughing,” Araujo said. “I spoke with him the other day and he’s cool, being positive. The coach tells us what to do and he trains normally, every single day. He’s in shape, too.”
Continuing on, Araujo stated that “Bones” has been humble, and that people look up to him inside of the gym:
“On the first day Jones returned to the gym, they put him to clean the mat when the training session was over,” he continued. “They always pick someone to clean the mat after the training, and he didn’t complain he had to do it. He’s a nice guy, and a look up to him inside the gym.”
Araujo also admitted that Jones’ legal issues are never really spoke about at the gym. The camp knows that Jones is a champion, and seems to believe that “Bones” will return to the Octagon at some point, because he didn’t lose his belt to another fighter, he lost it to himself:
“Nobody talks about it,” Araujo said. “I think he will get out of this situation. I don’t know what the justice is going to decide for his future, but he’s a champion.”
“Those in the UFC know that he’s the champion, and he will get that belt back,” he continued. “The champion is the best. Rafael dos Anjos won the title because he defeated everybody. (Chris) Weidman did the same thing. Jon Jones lost the title to himself. I told him that already. ‘The only man that can beat you is yourself.’ We lose to ourselves all the time.”
As far as the light heavyweight division goes, Araujo said that current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier deserves to hold the belt right now, but that everyone knows Jones is the best. The Jackson-Winklejohn product even compared the situation to the current featherweight title picture:
“Cormier deserves to be there with the belt, but every light heavyweight knows that the best fighter was sidelined,” he said. “It’s like Chad Mendes fighting Conor McGregor. They know Jose Aldo is the best, they know Aldo is the champion. Jones is the champion. Cormier is a good fighter, but Jones didn’t lose inside the Octagon.”
At the end of the day, it may be up to the courts as to whether or not Jones will fight again, depending on his punishment. However, it definitely seems as if his camp is confident that he will return.
What are your thoughts?