Jon Jones explains why drug testing woes should not add asterisk to his accomplishments

Jon Jones, UFC 235, UFC 235 fight card, Chris Weidman
Image via @ufc on Instagram

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who returns to the Octagon to rematch Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 232 this Saturday, is adamant that his accomplishments should not be overshadowed by his latest drug testing drama.

He reminds that the amount of the banned substance turinabol found in his system in a recent drug test was quite small, and that he’s worked incredibly hard throughout his entire martial arts career regardless.

“In my mind there is no asterisk [next to my accomplishments],” Jon Jones said at the UFC 232 press conference on Thursday (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I was afraid of there being an asterisk next to my career when I was uneducated, but as I’m learning what this really is, I’m actually almost mad that it was even mentioned. It’s invisible. You can’t take a picogram. It’s that small, you can’t knowingly take it, that’s how small it is.

“I have completely set myself free from any type of — I listen to fighters from the past be like, ‘This is why he beat me, because he had this in me.’ And I get why they need to do that, to feel better, to feel like I can do it the second time. I get why they’re doin’ that. But I’ve taken off the asterisk next to what I’ve done. I know what I’ve done. Every pushup, every sit-up, freaking showing up to practice early, leaving there late, wrestling camp since I was 12 years old, endless tournaments, I know what I’ve done. After beating Gustafsson I’m going to be right back on the track that I’ve always been on, which is being one of the all-time greats and I know that in my heart, no matter who believes me or not.”

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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/28/2018.