Jon Jones has had nothing but success in the octagon, and seemingly endless trouble outside of it. But whether Jon Jones can take back the UFC light heavyweight championship won’t be decided at UFC 197 anymore. That will be decided only after Daniel Cormier returns from recovery of his recent injury.
Even though UFC 197 isn’t going to feature a Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier fight, Jones still expressed interest in fighting someone. So instead, he will face Ovince Saint Preux. A replacement opponent didn’t work out too well for Conor McGregor at UFC 196, where he was supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos, but was embarrassed by replacement Nate Diaz. But Jon Jones is different. He appears unstoppable in ways that reach beyond any current fighter.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) March 22, 2016
But outside of MMA, Jones is still battling legal trouble related to a hit-and-run crash, and then drag racing. He has spent time in jail which he could have spent training. The only opponent who seems able to defeat Jones is himself.
Anthony Johnson was the next choice for a fight with Jones, but has to sit out after surgery on his mouth. A fight with Ovince Saint Preux won’t carry the same weight as fighting Cormier or Johnson, but it does give the sixth ranked Saint Preux a chance to prove himself.
And in the UFC, that chance is all that is needed for greatness, as seen with Nate Diaz and Holly Holm. Saint Preux is not expected to give Jones much trouble. The best thing coming out of this fight is a warm up match for Jones, who hasn’t fought since his last match with Cormier back at the beginning of 2015.
Jon Jones recounted his wishes to overcome his troubles outside of the octagon in a press conference for the UFC, recorded by MMA LOGS.
“We’re all on different journeys. Some people mature faster than others. Sometimes it takes people a few more mistakes to realize what they have and what they are messing up.”
With all of his legal trouble, a fight now for Jon Jones can bring his career back into focus. The UFC is sort of giving him back his title, though not completely. The UFC will give him an interim belt until Cormier can return for the official title match.
Jones also stated how he worked on changing himself and bringing his life into focus as he prepared for upcoming fights, as reported by MMA LOGS.
“I felt as if this last situation really brought me to my knees. I lost respect nationwide. I lost my endorsements. I lost my job. I lost so much. For me this was rock bottom. So over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to be alone and work on my character outside of being an athlete.”
Prepared for victory pic.twitter.com/QBzhPlEJHS
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) February 18, 2016
Cormier most likely injured himself in his thirst to defeat Jones, after his earlier loss in their previous meeting. He could only see revenge, thereby injuring himself at the most inopportune time. Cormier suffered his only professional loss while battling Jones. He is nine years older than Jones, and might retire after their next fight.
As SB Nation reports, Jon Jones expressed empathy towards Cormier on social media, despite Cormier’s constant trash talk. He sent out a tweet aimed at appeasing fans expecting to see him fight Cormier during this month’s UFC 197.
I don’t wish injuries on anyone, I hope you have a healthy recovery Daniel. Enjoy that belt
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 2, 2016
Fans can get to know exactly what is going on with Jones. He posts constant updates and training videos on his social media accounts. Both fans and fighters can study his methods.
Despite early, continued success, the main drawback in the career of Jon Jones has been his troublesome driving habits, ones that seem to get him into escalating legal situations. But Jon Jones wants to return and reverse all notions of his detrimental personal life, as well as give fans more chances to see the fighter they know so well from his UFC success.
[Image via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship]