Jon Jones has been one of the UFC’s more polarizing stars for some time, and it will be interesting to see how he’s received in the coming months, following the news that he recently tested positive for cocaine metabolites. For some, the news won’t affect their opinion of the light-heavyweight champ, but one would think Jones will likely lose supporters.
Well, one man who believes Jones is going to have to put some work in, in terms of improving his image, is Brian Stann. The retired fighter trained with Jones during his time with Jackson’s MMA, and recently Stann appeared on FOX Sports 1’s “America Pregame”, and was asked to weigh in on the situation.
According to MMA Fighting.com, Stann relayed that he’s happy to hear that Jones has entered a drug treatment program, and argued that the drug test shouldn’t taint his win over Daniel Cormier, since cocaine is not a performance enhancing drug. While discussing whether Jones can rebuild his image, however, Stann stated:
“It’s going to be difficult,” said Stann. “It’s certainly going to be negative for his image. After the [Cormier] fight [Jones] did some interviews where I thought a lot of people really came around and saw the real side of Jon Jones. People started talking and saying, ‘Hey, give the guy a break. He doesn’t have to be perfect. He can be a little mean.’ So I think this swings the pendulum a little bit back in the opposite direction. He’s going to get criticized and he’s going to have to take this one on the chest, but first and foremost he’s got to worry about himself and his family.
“But look, this is a country where one of the highest paid speakers in the country is [former U.S. president] Bill Clinton and he’s considered a hero in many ways. [Clinton] has certainly overcome much worse than a positive drug test so I think Jon can overcome this.”
Stann makes a good point, and really, whether fans like or dislike Jones, when he returns to the Octagon it’s going to generate a ton of interest. The light-heavyweight champ is coming off one of his greatest victories yet, after capturing headlines for months, and has defended the title a record 8 times.
Jones worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Cormier at UFC 182, which went down in Las Vegas, Nevada.