Last month, Jon Jones was finally handed down his suspension from USADA for failing an in-competition drug test at his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214: 15 months retroactive to last July. While that is a long suspension, it’s considerably less than the four years he could have received as a repeat offender and still shorter than the two-year suspension most envisioned would be forthcoming. But Jones availed himself of a little-used loophole to knock off approximately 30 months, a clause where the fighter in question may provide USADA with “Substantial Assistance” that brings to light other instances of doping in the sport. The “snitching” clause and Jones’ use of it to lesser his sentence kicked off a firestorm of reactions from fighters and fans, most notably, Jones’ rival Daniel Cormier who blasted USADA for its actions.
But though he became the target of much public ire, Jones is not terrible concerned. Speaking recently with ESPN, Jones opened up about his experience with USADA, denying claims that he ratted out any other fighters or teammates.
“USADA asked me to do a lot of things throughout this case, but one thing I didn’t do is snitch on anybody in MMA,” Jones said. “I definitely didn’t give up any information on anyone in the sport, nor do I know of anybody who’s doing these things in the sport. I think the whole snitching thing is pretty silly. It’s interesting to watch people jump to conclusions about things they don’t know what they are talking about. And that’s all I want to say about that topic.”
But for as much as Jones wants to distance himself from the “snitching” moniker, the qualifier “in this sport” does suggest that there is some level of truth to it. And regardless, fans, haters, and Daniel Cormier in particular, are likely going continue calling him “snitch” for the foreseeable future. But that’s something Jones says he’s fine with.
“It doesn’t bother me for a few reasons,” Jones continued. “I understand who I am in this sport. I understand that I’m always going to be somewhat of a controversial athlete in our sport. I understand that I’m going to be a guy that’s very fun to talk about whether it’s for the good or bad. I’m just grateful to be relevant at the end of the day. When you are one of the better athletes in the sport, people are going to talk about you.
“I feel like everyone is never minding all the science that went into all this and they are trying to chalk it up to some kind of rat situation, as if they are saying Jon was guilty but he ratted to get out of this, but that can’t be farther from the truth.”
And as for Daniel Cormier? Now that Jones is back, does he wish to pick up where he left of and have one more go at the newly minted Double Champ? Not really. Like his issues with USADA, Jones says he’s ready to move on from Cormier and on to the next thing.
“No, I don’t [care about fighting Cormier again],” Jones said. “I already have all the marbles when it comes to Daniel Cormier. I’ve beaten him twice. This game has never been personal. What is personal to me is chasing greatness, not individuals. So in the case of myself and Daniel Cormier, he needs to fight myself one more time if he ever wants to be considered one of the all-time greats. I don’t need to fight him again to be considered one of the all-time greats. I have many more years to prove it.”
Jones is rumored to be rematching Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 for the light heavyweight title that the UFC intends to strip Cormier of, though nothing is official as of yet. Even after that fight, Jones says he’s not looking to go out of his way to challenge Cormier. Once he gets his 205 pound belt back, Jones says they can both just live and let live.
“Not really,” Jones concluded. “Challenging Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight championship would be me making it personal, and it’s not personal. I’m not the one who went home crying the first and second times we fought. That was him. There’s nothing inside of me that wants to take things from him or make his life harder in any way. I just want what’s rightfully mine. He can have what’s rightfully his and we can all get along.”
Big Money. Conor McGregor expects ‘breathtaking’ $50 million payday at UFC 229.
Disrespect. Khabib Nurmagomedov sees Conor McGregor’s tardiness as ‘big disrespect,’ leaves UFC 229 press conference.
Ready. Tony Ferguson ‘absolutely’ ready to step into main event if Khabib vs. McGregor falls through.
Size. Gegard Mousasi downplays size advantage over Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206.
Appeal. Leslie Smith to file appeal after dismissal of NLRB complaint.
The MMA Beat.
Khabib and Conor history.
Dana saying things.
Fights Gone By. Breaking down the biggest fight in UFC history.
Obviously Fight Talk. Predicting the outcomes of UFC 229.
The champ champ.
Conor’s intro for Thursday Night Football.
So many belts running away yesterday.
One way to look at it.
Ali is in Conor’s Head more than Conor’s in khabibs
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) October 4, 2018
The Conor money machine keeps on rolling.
Also on how the KO loss affected him.
It was my biggest fear of the sport. It helped me let it all go. And on top of that, I realized my actions and emotions played a huge part of me rushing in, with NO setup at all. This game ain’t easy but I love it for everything about it. https://t.co/RtIwVB9Mwi
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) October 4, 2018
Damn, Neil Seery.
John Makdessi (16-6) vs. Diego Ferreira (13-2); UFC 231, Dec. 8.
Jack Shore (9-0) vs. Mike Ekundayo (7-0); Cage Warriors 100, Dec. 8.
2003: Mirko Cro Cop knocked out Alberto Del Rio at Pride Bushido 1.
What if Jon just snitched on a bunch of his brothers’ football buddies? This thing has the potential to get so much wilder. I can’t wait.
This is it. The Big One. Conor is back in the biggest fight in UFC history. Enjoy it everyone. Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
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