Jon Jones has released a statement via his Facebook page following his reinstatement from the UFC on Friday, and he’s promising that fans haven’t yet seen his best.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to resume my career and I am excited to show how much I’ve grown as a person outside of the Octagon,” Jones wrote. “It took me losing almost everything I had worked for to realize how much I had. I am blessed and humbled by the continued support of the MMA community and I can’t thank my fans enough for their unwavering support through my ups and downs. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and my career and let me assure you, the best is yet to come.”
Jones is expected to face Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in his return. It’s a title he never actually lost, and he defeated Cormier in January of this year to defend the belt before getting stripped due to his hit and run accident in April.
Penick’s Analysis: Jones has already been one of the best fighters this sport has ever seen, and if he can get out of his own way he has a chance to establish himself as the all-time great inside the Octagon. He doesn’t have to be a saint out of the cage, but he had tried to ride the line of acceptable behavior for so long that he wound up on the wrong side of it far too often. Now he’s got to prove he can keep himself out of the type of trouble that let to the title being taken from him (though that remains a symbolic gesture more than anything). He’s going to come back against Daniel Cormier, and it’s probably likely that he’ll regain that title. How he handles things from here is all up to him.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]