Jon Jones, Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva are three of the greatest stars to ever set a foot inside the Octagon, and one thing they have in common is dealing with issues outside the Octagon.
While Silva recently found success in his quest to show his innocence in his run-in with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), proving that his doping test was due to contaminated supplements, Jones is still dealing with his USADA suspension and McGregor faces charges after attacking a bus full of fighters and injuring athletes prior to a UFC event earlier this year in Brooklyn.
“The Spider,” the greatest middleweight champion in UFC history, considers Jones like “a young brother,” and gives him a piece of advice as the former light heavyweight king attempts to prove his innocence in his latest doping case.
”I’m his close friend [of Jones], 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,” Silva told MMA Fighting. “He’s young and has everything it takes to come back and reclaim what’s his. I’m rooting for him, as always. He’s an amazing guy, a guy that has been through several difficulties, several problems, and deserves our respect.”
As for “The Notorious,” a former two-division champion who hasn’t fought inside the eight-sided cage since his historical knockout win over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, Silva hopes he learns from his mistake and doesn’t ruin the image of the sport.
”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. 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.”
During a hearing at a Brooklyn courthouse in June, McGregor’s team informed the court that they plan to negotiate a plea. Both McGregor and his friend Cian Cowley, who was also involved in the situation, are expected to return to court Thursday.