What should the UFC do with Jon Jones if his drug test failure is affirmed?
RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Contributor
If Jon Jones drug test failure is affirmed that’ll be a bummer on so many different levels. It’s a mess and the UFC will have to pick up the pieces and try to make sense of it all. It’s so frustrating because for all of Jones’s accomplishments, it seems his true talent is letting his personal decisions get in the way of his career. There will be a large serving of humble pie headed Jones’s way. As well as a lengthy suspension that will take away even more of his prime fighting years. Think of all those fans who where singing Jon Jones’s praises after UFC 214. It seemed like a redemption-storied victory. It’s over a month later and now those same fans are eating crow.
Really, the only thing the UFC can do is keep the light heavyweight division moving forward. That being said, the UFC should give the title back to Daniel Cormier. He didn’t lose it on a fair playing field with Jones testing positive. Cormier’s next opponent should be Alexander Gustafsson in a UFC 192 rematch. It was a good fight then and it can still be fun now. After this debacle it’ll be interesting to see if Cormier will have finally won over the fans that have been booing him all these years. Regardless, the UFC should keep Jon Jones on the roster and wait for his suspension to end.
Here’s hoping Jon Jones drug test failure isn’t affirmed because I don’t want to be eating crow myself.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist
If it’s affirmed, they should just disassociate with him as much as possible. Strip him of his title, of course, but also denounce him publicly. If this is true, Jones is the guy that Dana White needs to bash in the media, not Georges St. Pierre or Demetrious Johnson. Those are stand-up guys who don’t have more baggage than a hotel lobby, but White has stupidly criticized both of them (in addition to many others) repeatedly. Again, if this is true, Jones is the biggest screw-up in sports and needs to be treated as such. The UFC doesn’t have many options here. You set him on the backburner and forget about him. Offer him any help he needs with his drug problems, but you shouldn’t waste a single minute thinking about what to do with him. You let him serve his suspension and prove that he deserves to return whenever that time comes. If this is true, he’ll find some way to screw things up again so don’t waste time thinking about it now.
ZACK HEYDORN, MMATorch Contributor
Once the drug test failure for Jon Jones is confirmed, the only option UFC has is to throw him back down their PPV cards. UFC will need to keep Jones out for as long has his suspension dictates and if it’s me making the call, he will be back in the octagon but only in spots on cards that aren’t promoted. Jones has proved time and time again that he can’t be trusted. There is no way that the UFC can position him to draw for a PPV event on the off chance that something will happen and his fight won’t take place. At the same time, Jones is a premiere fighter and can’t be matched up against up and comers who he would destroy in 25 seconds. Once his suspension is lifted he should be allowed to fight applicable talent, but not in a way that allows him to be a focal point of the company.
JOHN HARRIS, MMATorch Contributor
l think the UFC should release him, but they won’t. Jones could be looking at a 3 or 4 year ban if this drug test failure is affirmed which would make him 33 or 34 when trying to make a comeback. I think they should release him to send a message that they will not tolerate this kind of behavior and let everyone that know that no matter how big a of a star you are, nobody is above the law. Dana once stated that Jon Jones would never headline another PPV after his failed drug test just days before his rematch with Daniel Cormier in July of 2016 but that turned out to be just hot air. The UFC cannot continue to give Jones special treatment after all these serious offenses. This could cause more fighters to lose faith in the UFC and jump ship to Bellator.
However, I think they will keep him under contract just out of fear that if he does make a comeback after a 3 to 4 year lay off that he could sign with rival Bellator, promote his own MMA fight or even go to WWE.
JOHN KIM, MMATorch Contributor
I think Jones is gone for at least 2 years. The UFC will strip him of his title and announce a title fight. That title fight will most likely be Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson.
MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATorch Contributor
Dana White and the UFC have no choice but to keep Jones on the shelf for however long is needed. It doesn’t make sense for them to cut him and allow Bellator or another promotion to realize the financial gains that should go to the UFC. It’s extremely frustrating for the UFC and fans to have to go through this again. Many were convinced that Jon had turned the corner after his heartfelt post fight interview after beating Daniel Cormier, but I remained skeptical. As I mentioned on the MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast, I needed to see a bigger sample size before jumping back on the band wagon. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not just as disappointed as everyone else.
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