Yesterday, we shared an editorial from last year that documented Jon Jones‘ chaotic drug-testing history. Heading into UFC 232, the biggest story was not about the fights that were taking place but about where they were taking place. That’s because the event was moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles due to some testing issues surrounding event headliner Jon “Bones” Jones.
In the below article, Jon Jones opened up on the controversy and how his peers reacted to the situation at the time according to him.
The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of the MMA News Archives.
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 26, 2018, 8:56 PM]
Headline: Jon Jones Claims UFC 232 Fighters Have Accepted His Apology
With a card as stacked as UFC 232, including a main event and co-main event of the ages, it is difficult to believe that most of the attention recently has been away from the lineup. But when one realizes the extent of the controversy surrounding Jon Jones and the UFC’s decision to move the card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, it may become easier to understand.
Many fighters on the card have voiced their aggravation at the UFC’s last-minute decision to move the card, including fighters like Corey Anderson and Amanda Nunes, and Jon Jones decided to do something to attempt to alleviate their frustrations:
“I feel good,” Jones today told MMAjunkie. “I really can’t afford to feel any other way. I feel bad for the fans. I went around today apologizing to every UFC fighter that was on the card that I’ve seen in person. So far, they’ve all said that they’ve forgiven me, and I think I need to prioritize my emotions and save all the emotions for after the fight. After the fight, I definitely plan on doing what I can do to give back to fans who really lost out.”
The latest episode of UFC Embedded (Ep. 3) shows the UFC discussing the news of Jones’s atypical drug test result with Alexander Gustafsson. One person conspicuously absent from the episode was Jon Jones himself. So what was Jon Jones’ reaction when he first heard about his failed drug test? And how has he dealt with all of the controversy surrounding him on fight week amidst all the chaos?
“Honestly, my initial reaction was ‘not again,’” Jones said. “It felt like a nightmare, but honestly, I think my faith in God has really, really helped me out with this situation, just believing that, ‘Hey, listen, this is all what my story is going to be. Just be with me, God, through it all, and keep me strong to handle all this.’ Some things are out of my control, and you’ve just got to learn to focus on what you can control.
“Another thing I’ve done is to be able to lean on my team. So many people stepped up and wrote me the most positive things, and all the messages were pretty much the same. ‘You can’t afford to get emotionally weak this close to the fight. Stay focused. Stay strong, and believe that this is just meant to be and let go, let God, and do your best. Control what you can control,’ and that’s what I’m doing.”
As for all the outside noise, Jones is very aware by now that it comes with the territory:
“I’ve just got to be comfortable in the chaos,” Jones said. “That’s really what I have to do. To be a multiple-time world champion or one of the best fighters possibly ever, you have to expect things out of yourself that would make most people crumble. You’ve got to be able to deal with the media, the weight cut, the criticism, the back story, the crazy, tough opponent – you’ve got to be able to swallow it all, and that’s what I plan to do.
If you were one of the UFC 232 fighters Jon Jones apologized to, would you have accepted his apology?