Jon Jones isn’t fighting for the undisputed, light-heavyweight championship at UFC 197 any longer, and won’t take on his bitter rival Daniel Cormier, but it will be the biggest fight of his life to date.
On April 23rd, Jones will be fighting for the first time since January, 2015, when he decisioned Cormier at UFC 182. Since then, however, Jones has been followed by scandals and legal issues, and is no longer champ.
As his bout with Ovince Saint Preux approaches, the MMA world is waiting to see whether Jones can return to his championship form. In fact, since Jones says he’s sober and more dedicated to fighting than he’s ever been, there are many who wonder if we’re about to see “Bones” reach new heights.
Recently Rolling Stone ran an extensive story on Jones, and in the piece, he talked in length about his previous issues with partying, and how it has affected his life. In addition, Jones had this to say about his future, and his burning desire to reclaim the belt.
“I’m still on a journey to get back the belt I never lost. After I fight Ovince, me and Daniel’s story picks right back up where it left off,” he says. “I know what it feels like to be a champ already. To be sober doesn’t compare. This is the happiest I’ve ever been, without the belt. Now, to be sober with the belt – that’s going to feel like heaven.”
“I’m only at the doorstep of earning my second chance,” he says. “Doing community service was court-ordered. That’s not earning a second chance. Being sober when you’re on probation isn’t earning your second chance. I got a lot of proving to do…”
Yup. These are fascinating times in the 205 division, as it’s possible we could be set for yet another, even greater Jones’ era. Or, with all that’s gone on in the last year, could it be there’s never been a better time to fight the former champ?