UFC 235 took place March 2nd at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas Nevada, with the main event being the Light Heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones vs Anthony Smith. The fight went on for five brutal rounds of punches, knees, kicks and elbows. Jones won the fight by decision retaining his Light Heavyweight belt adding another win to his record.
Standing 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing in at 205 lbs, Jones is arguably one of the greatest pro fighters of all time, but he was not always the size he is now. As a state champion wrestler and football player in high school he was considered somewhat skinny. Because of Jones’s slim build, his football coach nicknamed him “Bones”.
Jones has had a very successful beginning to his career, but he has come across some disappointments as well. Jones made his MMA debut in April of 2008, accumulating a record of 6-0 over the span of 3 months. He won his first fight with the UFC by decision. He went on to attain a record of 9-0 until his fight with Matt Hamill, when he was disqualified for an illegal elbow. Just 2 years later, he went on to win his first UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Mauricio Rua. Defending his title 8 consecutive times, he extended the record for the most consecutive UFC title defenses but was stripped of his title on the 8th fight against Daniel Cormier after the fight due to tested positive for cocaine metabolites.
He admitted in an interview with Fox Sports 1 that test was result of a party one night. “I definitely don’t have an excuse, I’m not here to make excuses for what happened” Jones said. “I did it, basically at a party. I think a coward would sit here and try to come up with this elaborate reason or to try to blame something, and I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to blame friends or blame pressure or stress. I’m not going to blame anything. But what I will say is that, I messed up. It wasn’t a mistake. I can’t call it a mistake necessarily, because I consciously did it.” Though this was a big mistake that he made, this was not first time he had faced controversy.
Previously, in 2012, Jones drove his car straight into a pole in Binghamton, New York and was arrested for a DUI in which he pleaded guilty to and payed a fine of $1000 for.
Then, in 2015, Jones was involved in another car accident where he allegedly fled the scene leaving an injured pregnant woman in the other car. Jones said on a podcast with Joe Rogan that he had no idea that there was a pregnant lady in the other car and he had assumed that the other person was fine since he was. He also stated that at the time he was more concerned about the marijuana pipe in his car which he could not find and the fact that he smelled of alcohol. Jones was suspended from the UFC indefinitely on April 28, 2015 but 6 months later, it was announced that he had been reinstated to the active roster. He has also tested positive for multiple fights, one being prior to UFC 200 where he was pulled and was flagged by USADA for a possible drug violation, and was pulled from the fight against Daniel Cormier.
Jones would go on to fight Cormier once more in 2017 and win the fight but it was soon overturned and declared a no contest due to a second positive drug testing by USADA where they found Turinabol in his system.
A year later, he had a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship belt in which he won by knockout. Fast forward to now, he has defended his belt yet again fighting Anthony Smith, and is ranked #2 overall in the Light Heavyweight division.
Jones definitely wants a fight against the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar as he has called but him out publicly nothing has been scheduled. Jones is very eager to fight since his second suspension and says he has had time to reflect on his career. “I’ve had a lot of time away from the sport, a lot of time to reflect on how much this MMA career means to me and I’ve made up my mind that this means a lot to me,” Jones said in a press conference on UFC on FOX. Since then Jones has stayed out of trouble and all his drug tests have come back clean. He says the partying has taken a back seat to the training.
He looks back on his partying with some regret. “It was stupid,” he told Joe Rogan. “But it was this mental crutch that I had.” And it gave him an excuse. “If this guy were to beat me somehow, I can look myself in the mirror and say, the reason I lost is because I got hammered the week before the fight.”
Now without that crutch, he’s looking forward to living up to his full potential in the Octagon.
Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Vengo Films