Jon Jones’ realest interview ever
Mike Sager won the 2010 National Magazine Award for profile writing, is a writer-at-large at Esquire, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and wrote best-selling author of 10 books. In short, he’s not the usual MMA blogger.
Jones remains under a one-year suspension for taking a bootleg erectile dysfunction drug. That suspension follows one for running his rental into a pregnant woman, breaking her arm, running away, returning to grab cash from the car, and running again. At the first press conference for his rematch with Daniel Cormier, the expectation was for a more polished Jones, despite the inevitable jibes from Cormier.
“Is this guy really going to go to the fight?” Cormier said. “Is this guy going to mess this up again by doing steroids or snorting cocaine or sandblasting prostitutes?”
This was Jones’ opportunity to take the high road.
“I beat you after a weekend of cocaine,” replied Jones defiantly. “I had two great weekends back-to-back. Cocaine one weekend, your ass the next. It was great.”
So why did Jones admit to cocaine use?
“As far as me doing coke before a fight, that’s not me trying to be a bad guy,” he said. “That’s me frickin’ doing a bump—you know, at a party. The truth of the matter is, you’d be surprised how many people have done coke. I’ve been around some of the greatest athletes in the country. Athletes with a lot bigger names than me do coke. But people don’t talk about it.
“I just like to have a good time, man. If you can afford to smoke a little weed, and do a little coke, and still win world titles, who’s to tell you you can’t? I understand these things are illegal. And once you get caught doing it, it’s humiliating. But at the same time, I’m not an addict or anything like that. You don’t see me walking around weighing fucking 100 pounds with my teeth rotting out and scabs all over my face.”
Jones also frankly discussed the hit and run.
“I didn’t get in my car and look around for the first female I saw to crash into her,” he said.” I was a little hungover. And I was headed to a friend’s house. And I got in a car accident. And then I just freaked out, man. I was like, ‘Man, I’m probably gonna be in a lot of trouble here.’ I went back to the car to try and find my [marijuana] pipe. It was in the cupholder, but it flew out. Now I keep it in the middle console.”
“If you want to look up to me or love me for some reason, then go right ahead and I’ll try to be somebody that will be remembered for a long time because of winning fights. I would like to try to make a positive impact on people, you know, one way or another. I don’t want to be this bad guy. But at the end of the day, I’m not going out of my way to be Mother Teresa. Nobody asked me to be a saint.”
“I just want to be me, man. I don’t want to be known as a good guy or a bad guy. I just want to be me. I don’t have it in me to try to pretend. I don’t care anymore.
“Right now, you got the rawest form of myself that I think I’ve ever been. And it’s a lot easier to be this way. Earlier in my career, I wanted to be, like, the Michael Jordan of UFC. Now, I feel like I am who I am. The proof is in the winning. I don’t have to act like a winner. I am a winner. And I’m a winner even if I’m rough around the edges. Even if I’m a Christian who swears and smokes weed and drinks and does whatever, this the champ you have. This is the champ I am.”
“I think my problem, when I first got into the game, was I wanted to be a saint—like, literally. I thought I had to be a real goodie-goodie. I’m at a place now where I realize that the fans don’t really care if you’re a good boy or a bad boy. They just want you to be responsible, you know? Hitting a pregnant woman and taking off running is not responsible. Taking a dick pill is not being responsible.”
“I’d like to fight for about another five more years or so. All I want to do is just to not get in trouble. That’s it. I want to fly under the radar. I want to win fights. I want to accumulate enough money to support my family. Just winning and staying out of trouble is what I’d like to be remembered for: Staying out of trouble will be my success story.”
Jon Jones is now as real as it gets. Is he, in reality, a person who can fly under the radar and stay out of trouble? Probably not. That’s not who he is. Is he the greatest fighter in UFC history? He probably is.
Jon Jones fights UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main UFC 214 on July 29, 2017 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.