Jon Jones will be making his return to competition after a year and a half away from competition tonight at UFC 232 when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson in the main event. As massive as a fight as tonight’s main event is, most of the attention has been pulled away from the fight and placed on Jon Jones’s atypical drug test result and the relocation of the card. Jon Jones has taken it all in stride, though, as someone who is used to both unfavorable drug test results as well as public criticism:
“I knew for some reason that it wasn’t as bad. I was familiar with the steroid, the allegations, what happened from the cards I’d missed, rejecting a fight that canceled UFC 151 and the UFC 200 thing… I knew what I was like when it feels like the whole MMA community is hating you … all of these past scenarios made me stronger for this moment,” Jones told the LA Times.
Even though USADA has come forward and released a statement stating that Jones was not in violation of its anti-doping policy for this bout, Jon Jones has no expectations of critics’ minds changing about this latest fiasco nor his character. And for those people, Jones only feels pity:
“No, I know I’ll never quite get a fresh, clean start,” he said. “Some people will just hate you forever, and for those types of people, you just feel sorry for them. They’re narrow minded. They just don’t realize that time goes on, that people change over years and that people actually try to do things better. So what I try to do instead of trying to win every heart is to just be a better person and let time show my character.”
What’s your take on Jon Jones’s reactions to the criticism that he has received?