Jones: Proving Innocence Is “Virtually Impossible”
In the aftermath of his recent “abnormal” USADA test, former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, knows that proclaiming his innocence may not do him any favors.
Jones was found with a nearly undetectable amount of turinabol in his system in a recent USADA test, the same metabolite that caused his most recent suspension in 2017. Since the findings came out less than a week before UFC 232, the UFC has doubled down on Jones, moving the entire event from Las Vegas, Nevada to Los Angeles, California, due to the Nevada State Athletic Commission wanting to conduct their own investigation into what occurred with Jones’ sample.
While the UFC’s drug testing partner USADA has cleared Jones, the Nevada Commission would not, leaving California, who already has investigated Jones and given him a “conditional” license to fight as part of his 2017 issues, opened their door to Jones who will now be tested by VADA as part of a deal made last week.
“I think my trying to prove any type of innocence is going to be virtually impossible before the fight, because of the controversial image I have,” Jones told ESPN prior to his fight against Alexander Gustafsson on December 29th. “People are kind of set in what they’re going to believe. I can’t win over many minds before the fight.”
“Even the scientists that found it, don’t know much about it,” said Jones, on the metabolite in his system. “I’m hearing reports this s— could live in my system for seven years. I’ve learned to say, ‘You know what Jon? You know in your heart you did nothing wrong.’ If I took another polygraph test and answered the question, ‘Have you ever knowingly put this in your system?’ I could confidently say, ‘No, I never knowingly put this in my system.’ And it would be a true statement.
“I just have to surrender to people’s opinions. I gotta surrender to the ignorance our sport is surrounded by. I gotta surrender to the fact most people will never pick up a book and do homework for themselves. I gotta surrender to it all and say, ‘Listen Jon, you’ve had a controversial career. You’re fun for people to pick at. You’re fun for people to talk about. If you are part of anything that’s not positive, it’s going to be huge news.’
“I have to be 100 percent confident in knowing I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Jones now prepares to return to the Octagon shrouded in never ending controversy against Gustafsson, who he went to war with at UFC 165, when the two would go the distance in a close decision win for Jones.
In the five years since he beat Gustafsson in Toronto, Jones has fought four times, twice against Daniel Cormier, and suffered numerous personal and professional setbacks due to drugs, drinking, and performance enhancing drugs.
The Syracuse native at one time was considered the greatest fighter on the planet, and many contend that he still is or at least can be with a win against the Swedish challenger. Yet, some may think Jones could be looking past Gustafsson, as he is in a long-standing war with Daniel Cormier, who is the current light heavyweight and heavyweight champion.
Cormier has held a gigantic grudge towards Jones, not because Jones’ defeated Cormier in their meetings in 2015 and 2017, but for his failing a drug test prior to their cancelled UFC 200 rematch and the failed test following Jones 3rd round win at UFC 214 last July.
The two continue to trash one another on social media, getting their professional rivalry very personal with mentions of each other’s wives. With Jones looking to retire following his 40th birthday in March, Jones may never get a third fight against Cormier, but may be able to reclaim some of his glory on Saturday night against Gustafsson.
UFC 232 airs live from The Forum in Inglewood, California on December 29th on Pay-Per View. Also, on the card in the co-main event is a SUPERFIGHT between bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, for Cyborg’s featherweight title.
Jones Quotes Via ESPN