It can be said that former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones isn’t exactly the best ambassador for the sport of mixed martial arts. His professional career in the UFC alone has been marred by two failed drug tests, as he now remains uncertain about when he will be able to fight again.
But according to fellow ex-champion Anderson Silva, “Bones” still merits a generous amount of respect.
“I’m his close friend, I have a big affection for him, I see him as a younger brother, and I hope this moment he’s going through is a moment of reflection. He’s young and has everything it takes to come back and reclaim what’s his. I’m rooting for him, as always,” Silva told MMA Fighting.
“He’s an amazing guy, a guy that has been through several difficulties, several problems, and deserves our respect.”
“The Spider” also had some opinions about another beleaguered company superstar, Conor McGregor, whom he feels might be tarnishing the sport because of certain antics.
“Man, I think that not only me but other athletes that worked really hard to turn this sport into a sport to be watched by kids, ladies, women, men, people from all ages and social classes,” Silva said, “And it’s complicated when this kind of thing happens, but who am I to judge? It’s something that must come from each person.”
“Athletes have to have this conscience,” he continued. “Everybody has problems, everybody goes through situations, and I hope he realizes how much he means to many people and doesn’t do something like that again and ends up tarnishing a bit of what we worked for this sport.”
McGregor is scheduled to appear in court in Brooklyn on July 26th to deal with the consequences of his UFC 223 bus attack last April.