Jon Jones returns at UFC 239 for his third fight since the end of his USADA suspension at the end of 2018. He’ll be fighting the hard hitting Thiago Santos, but past that you can tell he’s also fighting for his legacy. GOAT talk over his five years of career turbulence started to waver a little, but if he continues to dominate at 205 pounds (and perhaps even heavyweight) it will be hard to deny him the spot given his accomplishments.
His resume speaks for itself. He holds wins over a who’s who of the light heavyweight ranks, and the sole loss on his record was a wonky technicality earned by beating on Matt Hamill a little too loosely back in 2009. A couple of downward elbows to Hamill’s head and the fight was waved off. Hamill would be awarded the win, which seemed pretty odd given Jones whupped him pretty soundly through the 4:14 the fight lasted.
There’s been a recent push to try and get Jones’ loss overturned, but one person that’s not sweating about it is “Bones” himself. In an appearance on Bruce Buffer’s It’s Time podcast, he shared his thoughts on the situation.
“I’ve learned not to care about it,” he said (transcript via MMANews.com). “I feel like sometimes when a fighter is undefeated, they start to fight to protect this undefeated record instead of taking on new challenges and risking taking on scary guys. So there is some good in not technically being called that undefeated fighter, but I do also understand that on the promotional side, there’s so much Dana White could do with marketing his light heavyweight champion as this undefeated fighter. It just makes it a bigger deal to the rest of the world.
“If it happened, that’d be great,” he continued. “But if not, I’ve already gotten comfortable with that Matt Hamill loss experience. At the end of the day, it was my mistake, and it was a good learning experience for me.”
It’s a good thing Jon is comfortable with the loss because the chances of it being overturned are slim to none. Commissions are sticklers when it comes to their rules, and there’s simply no route to relief for the light heavyweight champion nearly 10 years out from a fight.
Sure, I think we all agree that the proper result from that fight should be a No Contest, it reflects the results of what actually happened infinitely better than Hamill leaving with a win. But to try and fix it at this point? Good luck with that. Open that door, and how many more fighters would line up to try and re-adjudicate all the bizarre results that have occurred under the NSAC’s thousands of fights?