UFC 200 was deemed the biggest and baddest UFC event of all-time, that was before Jon Jones was removed for failing a June 16th USADA drug test. The card is still stacked with quality match-ups, and Jones has since been replaced by future HOFer Anderson Silva, but the black cloud still looms over the UFC.
The title of this article, The Troubling Story of Broken Jon Jones, is a play on the two-versions of Jon Jones the public has been fed during his professional career. If you aren’t a pro wrestling fan the “Broken Jon Jones” reference may fly over your head, so let me explain.
TNA’s Impact Wrestling trended worldwide earlier in the week for a match-up between Matt & Jeff Hardy. The program was absurd; Matt Hardy had evolved into a Sweeney Todd-like character named Broken Matt Hardy after making his brother Jeff’s haunting vision named Willow come to life. Confused? We all were.
But the plot, as absurd as it is, mirrored what we saw in the UFC this week. Jon Jones is portrayed as this god fearing man by his PR team but the drug engulfed partier, or in this case the “vision,” always loomed in the background. Last year Jon’s hidden traits were made public by failing a cocaine drug test and later receiving a suspension for a hit & run incident. That was the beginning of Broken Jon Jones.
Jones’ management team and the UFC tried their hardest to promote the positive changes made by Jon during his brief suspension; they even teamed with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani to put together a video interview that began with Jones volunteering at a New Mexico Boys & Girls Club. Behind that Broken Jon Jones still lurked. Jones was pulled over in late-March for drag racing, which he denied, but the video showed him berating the police officer.
“I definitely wasn’t drag racing,” Jones said. “I got emotional and said some things that I probably shouldn’t have said to a police officer,” said Jones on an episode of the MMA Hour.
Broken Jon Jones was the one yelling at the police officer, which this week seems like one of the worst choices an intimidating black man can make, but he has always felt above the law and the rules.
Jones received a slap on the hand for that incident and went on to win the UFC light heavyweight interim title at UFC 198. These minor incidents have always been a sign of more to trouble to come.
In 2012, Jon Jones was arrested for DWI after crashing his Bentley into a light pole and over time that was shrugged off as a youthful mistake but it was really an early sign of trouble to come.
Binghamton Police received reports of a car crash on the corner of Grand Blvd. and Helen Street around 5 A.M. Saturday morning.
Police told Action News that Jon Jones was on the scene, and it was his 2012 Bentley that had crashed into a telephone pole.
Through the investigation, it was determined that Jones was driving the vehicle.
He was arrested and charged with a DWI.
That brings us back to the night of July 6th. Four years after the DWI crash and now 28 years-old, Jones is still pleading for forgiveness.
Jones maintains that he has never knowingly taken a PED and that his failed USADA drug test was an honest mistake. Funny, his mistakes have a way of drastically ruining the lives of others. Daniel Cormier could very well have missed out on millions of dollars because of Jones’ failed test but a late-change in opponent saved him from being the latest casualty of Jones’ disregard for the rules.
Did the acknowledgment of his mistakes trigger Jones’ tears at his July 7th press conference? Or was he upset that he’d no longer be chasing a multi-million dollar check on Sunday that led to the shame and pain?
You will never know if it’s the public relations Frankenstein version of Jones or if we are seeing Broken Jon Jones come to the forefront. Jones is now a mix of it all.
And like Matt Hardy, he has evolved into a confusing character that it so puzzling that you can’t look away.
Oddly enough, Impact’s viewership went up 25% during the Final Deletion event on Tuesday. If Jon Jones dropped the act and went full Broken Jon Jones he’d probably see a similar increase in his UFC numbers.
Everyone loves a bad guy but even more than that, everyone loves genuineness. Jon Jones has shown us who he really is and it’s time for the UFC and his team to let him be himself. The apologies have worn thin and the naive excuses are falling on deaf ears. When Jon Jones returns on his suspension he should focus on reclaiming his title and #1 P4P ranking, instead of repairing his false image.