I still remember the first championship fight of Jon Jones. He was a 23-year old raging young contender gaining win after win over many remarkable fighters of the time. Then champion Shogun was already on his way to becoming a legend with wins over the likes of Alistair Overeem, Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, and Lyoto Machida.
Jon went on to defeat Shogun and became the youngest ever UFC champion. Right from the first moment where he landed a flying knee to Shogun’s face, it was a nothing but a landslide victory for Jon Jones. It’s not just that Jon defeated Shogun, but he way he made it look so easy must have sent chills down the spines of the entire light heavyweight roster of that time.
Looking back at the events of the last few weeks, I wonder how Jon Jones will be remembered a decade from now. No one in the light heavyweight division ever had a record as great as Jon. It was a career to envy and nobody ever had an answer to Jon’s unorthodox spinning elbows and flying knees.
His hardcore fans are a distinct social group in the MMA world who refused to give up on him no matter what. Despite his repeated screw ups, none of his fans ever discounted him.
I am not even gonna discuss his past screw ups. His most recent comeback was supposed to be a celebration. It was supposed to be the story of a guy who got his shit back together and took back the throne he so deserved with his iron fist. And just like that, everything has come to a crumble.
I’ve always considered Jon Jones to be athletically and skillfully superior to Daniel Cormier (or any other light heavyweight for that matter). In their first fight, Jon dominated DC in a way no man ever did inside the octagon and got a decision victory over the formerly undefeated DC.
DC alleged that Jon used PEDs during their first fight. Even if Jon was clean back then, everyone now has a reason to doubt it.
Drugs give you strength, true. But they don’t teach you the fight IQ you are naturally blessed with. His headkick and array of punches that finished DC at UFC 214 were not the direct results of any drugs in his system.
A tarnished fighter will never be considered as the GOAT to represent the sport of MMA. Jon testing positive for his “B” sample after UFC 215 begs the question – how clean was he in all the fights he ever fought?
It also begs the questions – why would he need drug enhancement against a fighter who was at a significant disadvantage to him in terms of reach, speed, and age? Was he that scared of losing? Why would he risk his entire legacy for a victory against a contender he already dominated inside the octagon? This whole scandal has become a messy affair with no straight conclusions.
Athletes have gotten away with Turinabol in the 60’s when the drug was mostly unfamiliar. With stringent drug testing procedures, this is no longer an undetectable drug. It is possible that Jon accidentally took Turinabol through some supplements. Still, I doubt whether Jon’s camp was that careless in using supplements.
At this moment, I could only conclude that Jon’s camp must have used Turinabol consciously. Considering the small detection window of that drug, they must have hoped for a better outcome.
It’s hard for fans to go through all this one more time. Jon is the only UFC champion to be stripped of the title for all the wrong reasons. His B-sample has tested positive. This means that Jon’s camp will be preparing for a lengthy investigation and a potential suspension. The upcoming litigation will not only tarnish his image but also will burn a big hole in his pocket.
With a potential 4-year suspension looming over his career, his UFC days are all but over. Even if he returns after 4 years, I doubt that he will ever headline an event. Jon has been the favorite fighter for many MMA fans, including myself. It’s just hard to watch an athletically-gifted fighter squander it in this careless manner. Like I said, Jon will only be remembered as the guy who almost became the GOAT.