UFC president Dana White believes former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is among the greatest wastes of talent in sports history.
White and Jones, 30, have had a strained relationship for years, and it was exacerbated when Jones failed a drug test this summer. He is currently sidelined and facing a maximum suspension of four years.
Jones (22-1) is arguably the greatest fighter of all time, but he has been plagued by issues outside of the cage. Speaking to The TSN MMA Show, White said the level of disappointment about what Jones could have accomplished rivals any athlete.
“Ever, in all of sports,” White said. “The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he’d be doing right now if he had never gotten in trouble.
“He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken. The list goes on and on of what could have been with Jon Jones.”
Jones, who fights out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has maintained his innocence in the positive drug test from July. He tested positive for metabolites of oral Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. The failed test wiped out a knockout win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214.
It is the second failed drug test of Jones’ career. He recently served a one-year suspension for a failed drug test in 2016. Jones said that positive test was the result of an unmarked sexual enhancement pill.
His team is currently investigating the latest failed test and planning a defense. Jones faces potential sanctions from both the California State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Despite the fact that Jones is one of UFC’s most marketable athletes, White said he’s not following Jones’ defense closely.
“Whatever happens, happens,” White said. “Believe me, I’m not mentally or emotionally invested in that anymore.”