The positive drug test that Jon Jones rendered a week before his title fight against Alexander Gustafsson had caused left many things in disarray. For one, fighters will have to deal with increased income taxes from the venue change from Nevada to California, among many other things.
With just a few days left before the fight, Jones is not letting negative emotions take over. But at the same time, he wants to somehow give back to those affected by the mess he had caused.
“I feel good. I really can’t afford to feel any other way,” Jones told MMAjunkie. “I feel bad for the fans. I went around today apologizing to every UFC fighter that was on the card that I’ve seen in person. So far, they’ve all said that they’ve forgiven me, and I think I need to prioritize my emotions and save all the emotions for after the fight.
“After the fight, I definitely plan on doing what I can do to give back to fans who really lost out.”
Jones is no stranger to failed drug test controversies, and the most recent one was another blow to his legacy. The former champion, however, says he is keeping his head up through his faith and his support system.
“Honestly, my initial reaction was ‘not again,’” he said. “It felt like a nightmare, but honestly, I think my faith in God has really, really helped me out with this situation, just believing that, ‘Hey, listen, this is all what my story is going to be. Just be with me, God, through it all, and keep me strong to handle all this.’ Some things are out of my control, and you’ve just got to learn to focus on what you can control.
“Another thing I’ve done is to be able to lean on my team. So many people stepped up and wrote me the most positive things, and all the messages were pretty much the same.
“‘You can’t afford to get emotionally weak this close to the fight. Stay focused. Stay strong, and believe that this is just meant to be and let go, let God, and do your best. Control what you can control,’ and that’s what I’m doing.”
UFC 232 will take place on December 29th at The Forum in Inglewood, California.