From Octagon to Rehab: UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones

By Nathan Weller


Jon Jones took the UFC by storm when he made his debut in the octagon, at UFC 87 on August 9th 2008. Jones holds the current UFC record of 21 wins from 22 fights, and becoming the youngest champion in UFC history when Jones won the Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 128. The American is still the current Light Heavyweight Champion. However, that all seemed to come crashing down around him when his pre-fight drug test failed, as he tested positive for cocaine.

Heading into the UFC 182 PPV, Jones had a very heated build-up with his opponent Daniel Cormier. Jones defeated Cormier via unanimous decision after the two battled it out through five rounds.

On January 6th 2015, three days after the Jones vs. Cormier fight, it was made publicly known that Jones was entering a rehab facility for drug treatment. He had tested positive for benzoylecgonine, otherwise known as a metabolite in cocaine. Jones released the following statement.

“I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans. I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.”

UFC also released a statement, “We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue.” UFC went on to say, “While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and determination.”

Dana White, the president of UFC, also commented on the situation, “I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility,” White said. “I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”

Drugs in professional sport is a raging topic worldwide. Whether drugs are used as performance enhancers or substance abuse, it is something that every sport is trying to stamp out. Today I wrote a piece about the rise and fall of Jon Jones who seemed to have it all; a bright future, youngest and current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, a fiancée and children.

So ask yourself this question; why risk all that success?

Some may say Jones is to be commended for seeking help by entering himself into a drug treatment facility. Jones believes he will come back better and stronger with the support of his family and everyone around him.

Yet here we have another super sports star, nationally publicised for drug misdemeanours. What is really concerning here is the unknown affects these drug-using “sports idols” are having on the minds and attitudes of our future sports stars?


Image courtesy of Wikipedia