In April of 2015, UFC fighter Jon Jones was stripped of his Light Heavyweight title belt when he was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run. Jones returned to the Octagon 15 months later to capture the interim Light Heavyweight championship belt with a unanimous victory over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197, but he found himself in trouble once again by testing positive for a banned substance before his highly anticipated bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
Not only was he pulled from the card of that event, the USADA announced on Monday that Jones has received a full ban on his doping case, which will keep him out of competition for a year. As a result, the UFC has also stripped Jones of his latest title belt, thereby making him the first UFC fighter to be stripped of multiple belts in their career.
“Jon Jones has blown it in every way shape and form a guy with that much talent can blow it,” said UFC president Dana White. “Greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever.”
Following the news of his suspension on Monday, Jones changed his Twitter profile photo to a Crying Jordan meme. The reason why: “I figured I’d have a laugh at myself,” he tweeted. “I know there’s great things ahead of me.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 8, 2016
Jones has been widely regarded as one of the best fighters in UFC history, only to have never reached his full potential due to his actions outside of the sport. Because of it, White believes Jones has lost as much as $20 million in career earnings by not being able to defend his title multiple times and compete in other weight classes. And even if we do see Jones in the UFC once his suspension has been lifted, White saying “nobody’s ever taken this much time off and come back and looked like they did when they were younger” doesn’t leave much room for confidence.