Freelance: Jon Jones, Interuppted
For some time now it seems that Jon “Bones” Jones has been walking on a path similar to becoming the Mike Tyson of MMA: being recognized as one of the best to ever put on a pair of MMA gloves, but who has a personal life marred by controversy. He has almost as damning a record away from the cage as he does inside.
In the Cage
The 6’4’’ 205-pound king with an 84 and a half-inch reach that never truly lost his title currently sits at 22-1 (15 finishes, a 68 percent finish rate.) Jones is also still largely viewed as “undefeated” as his only loss came by way of disqualification thanks to what is a widely despised rule against 12 to 6 (downward) elbows. The rest below speaks for itself.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (One time, eight successful/consecutive defenses)
Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (One time, current)
Third most consecutive title defenses in UFC history (8) behind Georges St-Pierre (9) and Anderson Silva (10)
Most submission victories in UFC light heavyweight history (5)
Longest win streak in UFC light heavyweight history (13)
Youngest fighter to win a UFC championship (23 years, 242 days)
Most wins in the UFC light heavyweight division (16)
Fourth Most wins in UFC History (16, tied with Randy Couture)
Stats: Sherdog.com, various
Troublesome Legal Stats
A felony hit and run incident that broke that arm of a pregnant caused him to be stripped of his championship and suspended from 2015 until his return to competition in April of 2016 (roughly 475 days between fights.) Jones vehicle also included marijuana paraphernalia. He avoided jail time with a plea deal and community service.
Tested positive for cocaine metabolites
Various other driving infractions (probation violations from his hit and run) that eventually resulted in Jones getting a personal driver. He received minimal community service as punishment.
Will He Be the Same?
At 29 years of age, Jones should have the better part of another decade still ahead of him given the previously mentioned proper training camps of 8-12 weeks (2-3 months) and his natural ability. Any possible future criminal history will play a role in the future of his career in one of two ways:
Smaller infractions and community service impacted his training and results in the 5-round decision win over Ovince St. Preux that even Jones himself wasn’t happy with. Time in prison….You get the idea. Athletically he should be the same or very close for years to come if his career last that long. Other than that, Jon “Bones” Jones’ name is as tainted as the supplement he used even though it is by way of a sexual enhancement pill.
He is one of the best ever, but will history mark him with an asterisk? Not too sure if MMA weighs the same as other sports such as baseball for potential supplement users, but only time will tell.