Jon Jones is set to make his return to the Octagon. He will main event next week’s (Sat. December 29, 2018) UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones will be facing Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch from their initial fight back in 2013. The winner will be crowned the new light heavyweight champion of the world, stripping Daniel Cormier of his title.
Jones hasn’t fought since July of 2017. He defeated Daniel Cormier via third-round knockout after landing a hellacious head-kick. However, he was later flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a failed test. Jones was stripped of his title and lengthy legal battles ensued. Now, he has served a one-year suspension and is ready to get back into the cage after clearing his name of any intentional wrongdoing.
Almost Walking Away
This was the second time Jones was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in his combat sports career. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Jones admitted that he considered walking away from mixed martial arts (MMA) after the second allegation came out:
“I considered it, I considered it for a while when the allegation first happened. I realized I was facing four years, possibly not getting back for four years – I considered the idea of just saying forget it. Maybe doing real estate or get in to something else.”
However, after a conversation with a friend, Jones made the decision to fight back and clear his name, eventually returning to the UFC Octagon:
“I had someone ask, “Jon did you take steroids? Like seriously did you take steroids? And now’s the time you can be real with me.” And I said, “No, I didn’t.”
“Well then why are you hanging your head and thinking about hanging the gloves? You were the greatest fighter ever. If you didn’t do steroids then why are you walking around with so much shame? And sadness? He said, get back on your horse. No matter how long it takes.
“If you have to start fighting in Russia or whatever, China, to get back to being where you want to be, you gotta do it. You just gotta take the long road now.” And I said fuck it and made a decision to take the long road, and it is funny how once I accepted that, everything came back.
What do you think about Jones nearly retiring from MMA?