Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has had a turbulent few years. Though his recent career has included some unforgettable victories over some of the best fighters in the world, it’s also included a number of troubles outside the cage, and a pair of brushes with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Jones’s troubles outside the cage have cause some of his fans to turn their backs on him. Yet he’s hopeful that he can find a way to win those fans back.
He explained how he plans to do that on a media conference call ahead of his UFC 232 rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.
“Of course, you care about losing fans,” the former champion said (via MMAjunkie). “Everybody wants to be a liked person. And what I’ve got to do when I’m back is make less mistakes.
“Make less mistakes, and show signs of growth,” he added. “And I feel like I’ve grown tremendously.”
Jon Jones added that he feels like fans might even come to appreciate his redemption story.
“At the end of the day, everything is forgivable – most things are forgivable,” Jones said. “Especially in American culture. I feel like in America, people love a good comeback story. I feel like they love to build athletes up, celebrities up. A lot of people really enjoy watching people fall, but a lot of people really enjoy watching people climb up after bullshit. I’m aware of that, and my goal is just to climb up, get it right once and for all, and show people a great comeback story.”
Jon Jones will enter his UFC 232 fight with Alexander Gustafsson having not fought since July of 2017, when he knocked out Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately, this bout was then ruled a no contest when it was announced Jones had failed a drug test. The title was returned to Cormier, and after more than a year of deliberation, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), handed Jones a 15-month suspension. Because this suspension was retroactive to the date of his failed test, he was eligible to compete again at the end of October. He’s 22-1 (1) overall.
How do you think Jon Jones will perform in his long-awaited return to the cage?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/23/2018.