If you were paying attention to the build-up leading up to Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier’s UFC 182 fight, you would have noticed that things were far from perfect when it comes to the relationship “Bones” has with the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s brass.
Hard to call the development surprising given how bad Jones has been treated by the UFC’s top executives, Dana White, the promotion’s president, in particular.
Despite the fact Jon Jones started off his UFC career as the ultimate company man, ever willing to step up on short notice to help matchmakers, often sucking up to Dana during press conferences, White didn’t waste any time letting Jones know how little he meant to him when he needed a scapegoat. He quickly threw Bones under the bus when the UFC 151 card fell through, blaming Jon for the cancelled card.
Of course, that wasn’t true. UFC matchmakers and Dana White were responsible for the cancelled UFC 151 card since they were the ones that put together a crappy card that didn’t have a decent fight on it besides having Jones as a headliner.
Originally scheduled to face Dan Henderson at UFC 151, Jon was informed eight days before the fight was supposed to take place that Chael Sonnen would be replacing “Hendo.”
All of a sudden, the fact Sonnen had been calling Jones out weeks before the switch was announced started to make sense.
That was the first sign the UFC clearly didn’t have this Jones’ best interest at heart.
Jones politely declined the fight, and the backlash from White and MMA fan boys was swift.
The racial element was impossible to miss.
Jones was being attacked for doing what most people would do; look out for their best interest. However, there is an unspoken rule in U.S. sports culture that black athletes, especially males, are never allowed to look out for their best interest.
Dana knew exactly how MMA fans (mostly white) would perceive the UFC 151 fiasco, and he took full advantage. Some brave members of the MMA media pointed out the fact a promoter would never ask big stars in other sports like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to accept a change of opponent eight days before a fight. However, for the most part, the consensus was; How dare Jon Jones not do what he was told!
He was called, “arrogant,” “entitled,” and “fake.” These are all familiar words that continue to pop up when referring to black athletes, especially the ones who dominate their fields.
All that didn’t go unnoticed by Jones.
Now, Bones is beginning to understand how things work, and he’s finally starting to play the game.
It started with the heel turn during the build up to his bout with Daniel Cormier, leading to what many considered to be the biggest fight in UFC history. At 27, Jones is finally learning that it is better to be hated than loved for most athletes.
Jones also made some revealing comments during his interview with Ariel Helwani prior to his fight with Cormier, accusing White of trying to ruin his career during the UFC 151 fiasco. He made it clear he was aware of the fact that the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a large portion of the MMA community would turn on him every chance they get.
Boy, was he right.
Surprise, surprise! On Dec. 4, the Nevada State Athletic Commission tested Jones for recreational drugs, which they weren’t supposed to, and the results of the test they weren’t authorized to administer was surprisingly leaked to the media.
He tested positive for cocaine metabolites, but that doesn’t mean much since athletes can’t be punished for recreational drug use during out of competition testing according to NSAC’s rules. The tests also revealed that Jones had low testosterone levels.
Now, members of the media are speculating that Jones’ low testosterone levels are an indication of PED use. An assumption that is asinine at best given the fact anything from jerking off, to a hard day’s training could lower testosterone levels.
Seems like someone is trying to get Django back in chains, but it’s too late. Jones is now the biggest star in MMA, and the future of the sport might very well be in his hands.
Some intelligent businessperson is going to make their MMA promotion the next best thing thanks to the UFC’s idiotic treatment of their biggest asset.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.