It has been more than a year since the world saw former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones inside the UFC Octagon. At the time, it was a moment of redemption for “Bones”, having reclaimed the title after a yearlong suspension due to a drug test failure.
That moment was quickly gone in a couple of weeks, after he once again tested positive for a banned substance and subsequently got stripped of the title. While currently serving an indefinite suspension, Jones looked back on his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, then having it all taken away from him after finding out about his fate through an online news clip.
“Time has a way of putting things into perspective. One year ago today I knocked out Daniel Cormier to reclaim my light heavyweight title,” Jones wrote in a recent Instagram post. “It was the culmination of all the sacrifice and hard work put in on the road back to where I truly know I belong.”
“That’s at the top…the only place I’ve ever dreamed of being. Turns out it wasn’t a forever moment but a fleeting one as two weeks later I find out on TMZ of all places my title has been stripped and I’m suspended once again.”
Having been in the same position in the past but due to infractions outside the Octagon, Jones admits that these experiences did take a toll on him. And over the past year that he has been in the sidelines, the 31-year-old fighter says he has taken the necessary steps to make everything right.
“To go from the spotlight to darkness, and have everything taken away from me again was a hardship the public will never truly understand,” Jones wrote. “It bent me but did not break me and I had to learn to fight in a different way. I’ve spent the last year living right and getting healthy, but much of that work was spent correcting and repairing my mental space.”
“Call it weakness if you will but even the toughest individuals need assistance getting back on track. I’ll be back, and when I am it will be a more complete version than the world has ever seen.”
Ultimately, Jones welcomes all his challenges with open arms, as he remains positive that he would be able to come back stronger.
“You have to turn the lemons life gives you into lemonade, and you have to take time to sit back and enjoy it. The struggles don’t define you. It’s how you handle them that determines who you are. Be good, enjoy the day and God bless.”
Jones is still awaiting arbitration from USADA, where he faces a potential four-year suspension.