Jon Jones opens in a candid interview


<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "LAS VEGAS – Before winning the UFC championship in one of most dominant performances ever seen in a title fight, Jon Jones "data-reactid =" 18 "> LAS VEGAS – Before winning the UFC championship in one of the most dominant performances ever seen in a title, he did not have to worry about what Dana White called it "cling-ons." To fight, Jon Jones did not have to worry about what Dana White called "clip-on-hooks."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "On this March night in Newark, New Jersey, Jones erased Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, one of the elite fighters of the game, to become the youngest UFC champion. After that, as Jones and his team celebrated the victory and exchanged hugs and deeds, the UFC president made a grim warning. "Data-reactid =" 19 "> In March 2011, in Newark, New Jersey, Jones erased Mauricio." Shogun "Rua, one of the game's elite fighters, will become the youngest UFC champion After that, as Jones and his team celebrated the victory and traded hugs and high-five, the UFC president sounded a worrying warning.

Jones made a vicious and brutal display by arresting Rua, then charmed the large media contingent afterwards by saying that he had crushed an attacker before the fight.

He had a megawatt style and a charming way. A few fights before, he feasted the media after decimating Stephan Bonnar with stories of learning moves by watching videos on YouTube. It was obvious that the guy who made his promotional debut at UFC 87 as a late replacement would become one of the biggest shooters and one of the greatest fighters in the sport.

Jon Jones at an open workout for fans and media for the UFC 235 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Thursday in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)

<p class = "canvas-atom web-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "On the way for his defense of the light heavyweight title Saturday against Anthony Smith At the T-Mobile Arena of the main event of the UFC 235, it can be said that he achieved both of these goals. "data-reactid =" 42 "> Defending its light heavyweight title on Saturday against Anthony Smith at the T-Mobile Arena T-Mobile Arena at the UFC 235 main event, one can argue that he has achieved both these goals.

Most experts think that he is the greatest mixed martial artist ever to have set foot in the cage. He fought against all players and won almost unilaterally each time, making the Hall of Famers seem rowdy.

And he sold enough tickets and pay-per-views to become a millionaire several times.

Jon Jones's story is worthy of a film, but it would largely solve some of the unfortunate things that resulted from White's 2011 warning that "clashes" would become a reality. For White, these are the ones who hang out with famous athletes, not so much to help them improve and reach their maximum potential, but to enjoy the good times, to feast on the star and enjoy their glory and money .

Often, said White, the tights drag the athlete down.

The tights have had their impact on Jones, no doubt. There are impaired driving incidents, unsuccessful drug tests, and all kinds of problems outside the cage that could easily have been avoided.

Jones, however, did not avoid them and said in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports that he had been trapped by being a star and a celebrity at a very young age. age.

"Dana has been a member of the UFC since the very beginning and he has seen many successful men come and go," Jones said. "He knew what he was talking about, maybe it's my personality type, the way I like to be among people, I like to have fun and be stupid and maybe that's something. he saw it as a fall for me before me, he was right.

"I really liked being a 23-year-old multimillionaire driving in a Bentley. Growing up a poor child, you never knew that none of this would happen. When that happened, I think I did what probably 70%, 80% of men would do in this situation. And it's just life. "

Jones was remarkably outspoken during the nearly 30 minute interview with Yahoo Sports, in which nothing was forbidden. He answered questions about his arrests for driving while intoxicated, the death of his mother and the failures of his drug test, with an insight that he had never shown previously.

His publicist was watching from afar and was not enthusiastic about all the discussions about his problems. But it's not as if these problems could be hidden, or that people do not know, and Jones did very well as he approached the problems directly and made a commitment to improve.

People will easily forgive all sorts of things if they believe that you have a sincere and sincere apology. However, they can see through you when you are trying to pull off a public relations stunt and say what you believe people want to hear.

Only time will tell if he has really changed, but he seemed more willing than ever to assume his responsibilities. He is now 31 years old and has shown maturity and understanding that were lacking before. This authenticity could help bring fans back to his side.

In the summer of 2010, a few months before he became a champion, he met a food court reporter at a Las Vegas mall, barely noticed by shoppers who were walking around. He paid tribute to middleweight champion Anderson Silva, then considered at the time as the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.

There is little doubt that Jones far exceeded Silva's achievements in the cage, but as a result of positive PED tests and other unsavory incidents, it's as if an asterisk were placed beside him to remind all he was fucking.

But at 31, he is not about to finish his career. He showed this at UFC 232 when he regained the title by stopping Alexander Gustafsson in Inglewood, California. He fought with Gustafsson the first time that they met in what has become one of the biggest fights in the history of the UFC.

Jones will later say that he was so confident in the victory that he did not train and party throughout the camp.

Jon Jones (left) reacts after defeating Sweden's Alexander Gustafsson in a fight for the lightweight title at UFC 232 in The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Getty Images)

In December, he showed the difference by preparing diligently. This was never in doubt because he swept Gustafsson and stopped him in the third round.

He wants to make up for lost time and fight once a quarter. Doing this will keep him in the gym and keep him away from lawsuits that several times failed to derail his career.

It will be hard to avoid the temptations because the more he gets rich and the more he becomes famous, the more he will be dragged into the wrong direction.

He must have the moral conviction to say no and stick to his decision. He said in the past that he would do that and not keep his word.

That day, however, it seemed different. While listening to him speak, he had the impression not that he was reading lines that were provided to him by a publicist, but that he was speaking with the heart.

And if he manages to convince the public that he is sincere, he has no limit to what he is capable of doing.

"I have the impression that my problems have humanized me in a way to let people know:" Hey, listen, no matter how bad stories are told about you, no matter the number of bad things you've done, there's always tomorrow, '& # 39; Jones said. "We are impatient."

We look forward to Jones' career without the clashes, drunk driving arrests and doping control failures, and in which he fights the biggest fights and continues to demonstrate his remarkable talent.

For the first time in a long time, there seems to be a better than equal chance.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "More MMA coverage on Yahoo Sports:
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