Jon Jones’s reputation as a reckless individual and party animal has been well documented. There are some who have even theorized that it is this lifestyle that may be responsible for Jones’s latest drug issues, with Joe Rogan and others speculating that tainted cocaine could be the culprit for Jones’s 2017 doping violation. Jon Jones came into the sport with a squeaky clean image that was unsustainable for someone living life as he was, and Jones reflected recently on what drew him into such a life:
“What led me into that lifestyle was a desire to be accepted, being someone who wanted to please people and be popular,” Jones told the LA Times. “I grew up underprivileged, from one of the only black families at the school. So I grew up not being invited to parties, never being able to afford to go out with the other kids.
“Achieving financial success and becoming popular for the first time in my life, it was like reliving my childhood in a way, getting to do all the things I never had a chance to do. It got out of control, and I started to live for the party instead of living for me … the DUI, the failed test for cocaine. It was a spiraling effect. I’m grateful now that I went through it so young because now I have the mind of what it all can lead to, and I try to put myself in the best situations now rather than going through those things.”
Life has not gotten any easier for Jon Jones recently, as he reflected back to the worst summer of his life last year:
“This past summer was an absolute nightmare – my mom passed away, then they stripped me and I was being accused of being a steroid cheat. I lost my title, lost all my endorsements, and my dog died. It was terrible,” Jones said.
Jon Jones did not lurk in the shadows forever, though. Tomorrow night at UFC 232, Jones will look to regain his light heavyweight championship when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson in the night’s main event:
“I had to be reminded,” in therapy, “about self-worth and the things that really matter to me – my daughters, my fiancée, my relationship with God, having relationships of quality, not being the guy who buys everyone drinks at the bar,” Jones continued.
“I did a lot of soul searching, and the thing that ensured that was being suspended for about three of the last five years. It allows you to get to the core of, ‘Who am I?’ And I’m proud of the person I am today. I’m a stronger Jon “Bones” Jones because I’ve reconnected with Jonathan Jones, and I have to continue being him, loving him and taking care of him, and, eventually, the fans will see Jonathan shine through.”
What’s your take on Jon Jones’s reflection on his journey leading into UFC 232?