The UFC took Jon Jones’s belt from him. Jon Jones may take the UFC’s best fighter from the promotion.
The embattled martial artist’s manager says his client may walk away from the cage for good.
“It could very well be the last time we’ve seen Jon Jones in the octagon,” Malki Kawa told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com. “I think Jon Jones is gonna focus on Jon Jones. I think he’s gonna take the time to do whatever he’s gotta do. And if it’s the last time we’ve seen him fight, it’s the last time we’ve seen him fight. And I’m OK with that.”
The UFC suspended the fighter and stripped him of his title after a recent arrest for a hit-and-run in which a pregnant woman received non life-threatening injuries. Vanquished for Daniel Cormier replaces Jones in a bout for the vacant light-heavyweight title later this month against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
Jones has never been beaten, and the notches on his belt include a who’s who of the light heavyweight division. Mauricio Rua, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Alexander Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida, and Daniel Cormier all left the octagon a loser after taking on Jones. At a mere 27, Jones enters the conversation as the greatest mixed-martial artist of all time along with the likes of Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, and Anderson Silva, and he enters the discussion the favorite to carry the argument.
Just as other fighters faced in Jon Jones an insurmountable challenge, Jon Jones faces such an obstacle in Jon Jones. The discipline of his activities inside the cage contrasts with an undisciplined outside-the-Octagon life that yielded a DUI arrest, a positive test result for cocaine, and a recent hit-and-run charge.
“He’ll still go down as the greatest of all time and no one is gonna convince me otherwise,” Jones’s manager maintains. “No other fighter has done what he’s been able to do. And I don’t think anyone has been able to impact the sport the way he has. The reality is you can try to bring him down any way you want, you can say the things he’s done, things he didn’t do—whatever. But I really do believe at the end of the day, he’s the greatest of all time inside the octagon.”