MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Five Thoughts on Jon Jones’ Positive Drug Test

Jon Jones On Tuesday, it was revealed the UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones failed a random drug test for cocaine prior to his UFC 182 title fight against Daniel Cormier, and the champ is now in drug rehab for his problem. I thought about this all night, and here are five thoughts on last night’s bombshell. My first thought when I heard the news: I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. I know that a lot of athletes and celebrities dabble in illegal drugs, but I sure didn’t expect Jones, the best mixed martial arts fighter on the planet and perhaps the greatest of all time, to be one of them. You don’t assume someone is taking cocaine, and when you hear it, it’s a shock to the system, especially when it’s someone like Jones, a top-notch athlete competing in one of the most brutal and dangerous sports in the world where health and fitness is so important to success. So my first reaction was one of shock. My second thought is one of disappointment. I couldn’t believe Jones was this stupid! He knew the drug tests were coming, and yet he still used a dangerous, hard drug like cocaine anyways. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was smarter that that. Did he think the drug tests wouldn’t catch his drug use? I have no idea what he was thinking. I was very upset when I heard the news because I used to consider Jones to be a role model, but not now. How could you? It’s impossible to at this point. Yes, he is the premier fighter in the sport that we all know and love, but as a person, Jones needs to make some serious changes in his life, because it’s very hard to look up to someone who knowingly uses hard drugs, especially when they are in the position Jones is in, and especially when they have a family like Jones does. My third thought was, well, Jones is a human being. He’s an adult, he knows what he did and he did it anyways, but he’s a human being, and human beings are flawed. I’m flawed, you’re flawed, and so is Jones. We already knew that he was flawed when he wrapped his car around a pole a few years ago and was charged with a DUI, but I think we all thought he had learned from that mistake, and apparently he didn’t. Still, he’s a person, and people are flawed. Again, that’s not condoning his drug use at all, because it’s beyond stupid. But no one is perfect, and Jones is far from it. The fact he checked into drug rehab is a great first step to righting himself, and I sincerely hope he gets the help he needs for his problem because a problem with cocaine is no joke, it’s something that kills people in the world everyday, and I don’t want to see Jones go down that path because he has so much to offer the world, and because he has a wife and children that need him. Fourth, I am angry. Not at Jones, but at the Nevada Athletic Commission, and the UFC. They both knew Jones did coke and that he failed his random drug test, but they still let him fight. I know that it’s not a PED, but it’s still an illegal drug, and the fact Jones was able to fight, and also get away from a suspension, is absolutely ridiculous. The notion of his cocaine use one month before the fight being out of competition bothers me, because if that’s out of competition, why did Nick Diaz get suspended for smoking pot before his fights with Carlos Condit and Takanori Gomi? It’s not like he was high during those fights. Same with Pat Healy. Why was he suspended for smoking pot before his fight with Jim Miller and stripped of $130,000 in bonuses but Jones gets away with using cocaine? It’s absolutely ridiculous! These rules need to change, and this loop hole needs to be closed immediately. And as far as the UFC goes, the fact they cut a guy like Matt Riddle for smoking pot but praise Jones for going to rehab is hypocrisy at its finest, and UFC president Dana White needs to take a hard look in the mirror this morning. And my fifth thought is a rant at the MMA media, because as soon as this news broke so many media members went on Twitter saying they knew about this and that it wasn’t a secret. Really? Well, I cover this sport on a daily basis. I live, breathe and sleep MMA everyday, and I had absolutely no idea Jones was using cocaine. Neither did any of my media friends here in Toronto. Perhaps this was more something that the American media was aware of (or a portion of the American media), but still, why did no one chase this story? It really bothers me that so many media members came out saying they knew about it before everyone else, but yet chose to stay silent. If you did know, you should have found a way to report on it, because it’s an important story. Instead, some of the media knew (or at least they say they did) and no one said a word about it. Hmm. Ok, guys. Sure, whatever you say. At the end of the day, this hurts Jones, it hurts the sport, and it hurts the fans. Anyone defending Jones is dumb. They guy knowingly took cocaine despite being the face of the sport, knowing that he could be caught, and he should be ashamed of himself. But he is doing the right thing by going to rehab, and as a fan of Jones and as a fan of the sport and as someone who wants the sport to grow, I sincerely hope he is able to get the helps he needs and kick his problem, because he’s the best fighter in the world and the sport is worse off without him. And, most importantly, because his family needs him.

Written by Adam Martin.

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