White: Jones is the G.O.A.T. but …

Friday, June 15, 2018

“Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”
-Bobby Kennedy

There is a short list of potential candidates for greatest fighter of all time – Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Anderson Silva. UFC president Dana White appeared recently on Adam Hunter’s MMA Roasted podcast and offered his choice.

“The whole Jon Jones thing drives me crazy,” said White, as transcribed by Ken Pishna for MMA Weekly. “Honestly, Jon Jones, he’s the greatest of all time, he’s the greatest to ever do it.”

“The thing that’s really frustrating is, imagine if this guy tried. Imagine if he tried just a little bit. Just imagine how incredibly amazing this guy could’ve been. He could’ve been the biggest star ever.”

“God knows what he would’ve accomplished in the light heavyweight division and then in the heavyweight division. Maybe he would’ve had a title defense record at light heavyweight that would’ve never been broken and the endorsements… everything that guy could have been is unbelievable.”

Of the possible G.O.A.T.’s, there is only one about whom one can ask, how good could he have been if? That’s why Jones is probably the best fighter of all time. And why he isn’t.

Jones squandered his greatness by making the wrong life choices. His last three fights have each seen his title stripped.

After defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 on in 2015, Jones was stripped after he drove his rental into a car operated by a pregnant woman, then ran off on foot. He returned, not to check on the victim, but to stuff cash into his shorts, and run off again.

After defeating Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in 2016, Jones was stripped after he tested positive for clomiphene and letrozole. That apparently came from taking a contaminated, bootleg, erectile dysfunction drug.

After defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in 2017, Jones was stripped after testing positive for turinabol. The test failure was announced on August 22, 2017; the investigation has yet to determine the source of the failure. This latest debacle is baffling in that Jones knew he would be tested on fight day, July 28, tested clean on July 7, and should have known that Turinabol metabolites can be detected for 30-45 days.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Jones Jones did something bonkers and was stripped of a title. It’s 2018. If history is a guide, Jones will do it again by December 31. Or maybe his time is finally running out.