Jon Jones: What Could've been?
When you think of some of the greatest fighters to have stepped into an octagon, you think of George St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko.
They are considered the pioneers of the sports and hold numerous records in the sports. They were the best pound for pound fighters of their era.
But there is one guy who might not find a place in the list in spite of being one of the most decorated and unstoppable champions in the history of UFC and his name is Jon Jones.
Jon Jones has been one of the most prolific fighters in the history of the UFC. He won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at the age of 23 becoming the youngest champion in the company's history in the process.
He holds numerous records in the light heavyweight division and is one of the greatest in the division. He is undefeated in title fights meaning that he never lost the UFC light heavyweight Championship.
His only loss was against Matt Hamill in Ultimate Fighter way back in 2009 but even that came via disqualification due to Jones using multiple 12-6 elbows which are deemed illegal as per The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
He has had some the best fights in UFC history. His UFC 165 fight against Alexander Gustafsson is considered an instant classic. He was also ranked number one in the world during his championship reign.
In spite of all this accomplishment, Jones have always grabbed headlines and notoriety because of his antics outside the Octagon.
He has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement agencies. He was arrested on May 29, 2011, for driving under the influence for which he had to pay a fine of $1,000 and his driving license was suspended for 6 months.
On April 27, 2015, Jones was sought out in connection with a hit and run incident and was charged with a felony. This led to UFC stripping him of the Light Heavyweight Championship, removing him from their official rankings and suspended him indefinitely.
Jones has a long history with drug addiction and has even spent time in rehab. He was stripped of the UFC light heavyweight championship 3 times. The first time was due to the aforementioned felony charges. The second and third time was due to him failing a doping test. His recent stripping of the title came after UFC 214 in which he defeated Daniel Cormier (he is the only person DC has lost to in his entire MMA career) to recapture the light heavyweight championship and the fight was declared a no contest. The trial for the said violation is still going on and if found guilty, Jones could face a suspension of up to 4 years. He has also been accused of poking his opponents in the eye during his fights.
The biggest grievance that fans and critics of the sports have with Jones is the fact that he seldom tries to learn anything from his past mistakes and keeps on repeating them at will. Below is a clip of UFC Commentator Joe Rogan schooling Jones on his Podcast:
Judging from the clip, it seems like Jones makes no bones (pun intended) about living life on the edge, which he has every right to do as an individual. But somehow he believes when others can do it why can't he which is really upsetting coming from someone who is revered and idolized by millions around the world. When you look at all that he has achieved in his career, you will realize that he had the potential to do so much more.
Till the time he finds a way to exercise his demons and stay out of trouble, he will always remain a perfect example of what could've been. But with that being said, he is only 30 years old which means he still has time to get his act together and hopefully get back in the octagon and prove why he is one of the greatest of all time.