On Tuesday, UFC President Dana White compared the rise of two of his youngest superstar champions — Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey — noting that one took the right path in life, while the other took the complete opposite.
White spoke about the rise of Rousey (11-0), who this week alone has reached new levels of success, as she is featured in major motion pictures and trailers for films such as “Entourage” (watch here) and “Furious 7” (watch here), and was also named “The World’s Most Dominant Athlete” ahead of the likes of LeBron James and Floyd Mayweather by Sports Illustrated, a magazine which she graced the cover of for the May 18th issue.
The UFC President used Rousey, age 28, as an example of someone who was mature enough to handle the trappings of success at an early age, as she was only 25 years old when she first became the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and was only 26 years of age when she debuted in the UFC as the first female fighter to ever enter the Octagon, let alone headline a pay-per-view and defend a title for the first time in UFC Women’s MMA history.
From there, the conversation switched to the now former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, a guy who was used as an example of how someone can take their career the complete opposite direction.
“Bones” Jones (21-1), currently age 27, was only 20 years of age when he entered the UFC, and was age 23 when he defeated MMA legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to become the youngest UFC champion in history, let alone the youngest UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of all-time.
On one hand, Rousey has been a perfect model employee. She does more media than most fighters on the UFC roster, is involved in more high-profile outside ventures and projects — which she properly clears through UFC before doing them — than anyone else in the company, all-the-while managing to make weight, show up when the bell rings, dominate her opponent and move on to the next one.
Jones, on the other hand, has not handled fame, fortune and success as well as “Rowdy” Ronda. Unfortunately for Jones, things took a turn since the days when he was the young, good-looking, “nice” guy who would risk his life to stop muggers the day of a championship fight. While he displays the same dominance inside the cage as Rousey, outside of the cage, he continues to struggle to keep up with her professionalism and maturity.
Jones has dealt with DUI arrests in the past, has tested positive for cocaine metabolites in UFC drug tests, has forced cancellations of entire UFC events due to his refusal to fight a new opponent on short notice, and most recently, was involved in a highly publicized hit-and-run automobile accident that left an innocent pregnant woman with a broken arm and other injuries.
Article continued on page two …