A Straight Con

It was a devastating blow to UFC 200. Interim UFC light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones, arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world, and the alleged best ever, was ripped from his title unification bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 for a potential doping violation.

One of the rare “holy crap” moments you experience when you hear the news or read about it.

I guarantee Dana White thought that when he heard it. Or probably much worse.

Jones was the main event, on the most important night in UFC history, and the biggest reason so many people were going to throw down to attend or watch the fight on PPV. And he blew it all up two days before the event, leaving Dana scrambling to find someone to fight Cormier on short notice.

Dana has had to deal with some crazy bleep over the years, but I have never seen him look as glum as he did last night. And understandably so. This is still a good card… A couple of title fights, Brock Lesnar and Miesha Tate; still a very good card, but it’s not historic. And it’s not nearly what it would have been had Jones not gone braindead once again.

Given this guy’s track record, maybe we shouldn’t be shocked. He did test positive for traces of cocaine prior to a fight with Cormier back in 2015. He also served a lengthy suspension for his involvement in a hit and run accident, something that cost him his belt and led to 18 months of supervised probation.

So this guy had done some really dumb things. Reckless things. Career ending and reputation ruining things. So this really shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. So why is it so shocking? Because until last night, it really did seem like he had changed.

This dude looked great and sounded great. He was saying all the rights. Owning all the mistakes he had made, while recognizing that he not only could have thrown away a GOAT career, but his life as well. And he was doing all the right things, fulfilling his community service, and giving back. These stories never end well. It’s always about the guy who had everything and (pissed) it all away. Wasted talent, wasted millions, a virtual waste of life.

But Jones seemed different. Listening to what he said, and watching the way he conducted himself, he looked like the one dude who could bottom out, get leverage on himself and his situation, turn it all around and make it back to the top. He said as much himself. Made his goal. His mission… And I admit, I bought it. And so did Dana White. He said as much on this show yesterday when I asked about Jones:

 

I’m telling you, I haven’t been duped this badly since Ryan Leaf came on this show and promised everyone he was a changed man. Leaf was so accountable for all the knucklehead things he had done, which made him so believable. Same with Jones, who told ESPN’s Arash Markazi: “I want to be a story where someone risked losing so much but ultimately turned everything around. A lot of times you hear these stories about athletes who ruined their career and they go away and no one knows what happened to them or they’re bankrupt or they end up in jail. They just ruined a great career. I want to be one of the few stories you hear where I was running things but ultimately turned things around and became a hero. That’s my vision for the way my story is going to play out.”

That’s nothing short of laughable now. What a joke. A hero?!. Nothing heroic about slamming PED’S and blowing up the sport’s biggest promotion ever and what was left of your rep in the process.

But wait, there’s more: he also said,  “The hardest part of being out of the game was feeling like a wasted talent.”

But that’s what you’re looking at. An utter and complete waste of talent. And even worse than a wasted talent, if you really did fail a test for a performance enhancing drug, now you’re going to be branded a cheater as well. And a fraud. I wonder how much I could have made if I had gotten down on the BLOW/PED exacta with this guy.

As Kevin Iole reported earlier this week, on a conference call, Jones told reporters, “My career isn’t a coincidence. It’s not luck.” Uh, if you were using banned substances, it’s hard to know what your career is, or was. Or if you still have one.

And then the granddaddy of them all: “You have athletes, who are perfect golden boys, who do everything right or you have athletes who just ruin it all. You don’t have too many stories of a guy who was able to turn it around in the middle of their career and ultimately end up in an amazing place at the end of their career. That’s what I’m planning on doing. I’m going to be that rare story of someone who got their head out of their ass and shocked the world.” If the failed test is true, that head is still lodged squarely in your ass, but credit for this: you did shock the world.

This dude was running a straight con. And I’ll admit it. I bought it. So did Dana White. But never again.

Blow. Hit and run. PED’S. Three strikes and you’re out. Unless you can prove otherwise, we’ll see  you in two years, Jon. Or more likely, never again.

You obviously still don’t get it. But you were right about one thing. Dudes usually never change. And you obviously didn’t. And shame on chumps like me who thought you would.

 

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