Tuesday, April 28, 2015

All This Jon Jones Bullshit

If you didn't hear, which seems unlikely if you're reading this, Jon Jones was charged with felony leaving the scene after a hit and run accident Sunday in Albuquerque.  I suppose "hit and run" isn't the best way to phrase it; that suggests he drove away, when in fact he took off on foot.  This is according to witnesses, as well as the logic that running is the only way to leave the scene when your rental car looks like this:

Are you fucking kidding me?  How smoked out do you have to be to do that?  Or maybe not smoked out, exactly; a marijuana pipe was found in the car- apparently he didn't remember to take it when he returned to grab the pile of cash he'd left behind when he initially fled- but that thing would have been burnt to cinders from all the weed he'd have to smoke to think leaving that situation is a good idea.

Jon Jones is the best fighter on the planet, and has more public personal issues than the rest of the top ten combined.  It's been suggested in multiple venues that he be stripped of the title and removed from the UFC 187 card, at the very least.  Those people will get no argument here over that idea.  So far the UFC has stuck by him with minimal punishment following his DUI and getting popped for cocaine before his last fight; it's done nothing to help him, and makes the organization look like they're coddling their moneymaker.  But cutting him outright doesn't really do much for him, either, as Bellator (or theoretically some Asian promotion like ONE FC) will pick him up for whatever it costs and either ride him into the ground or crash and burn completely if he winds up not pulling the numbers they expect.  Either way, he'll be enabled as much or more than he has been in the UFC.

Plus, stripping the title will have a positive impact on another fighter who's earned some good luck: Anthony Johnson.  In the aftermath of Jones' weekend incident, Johnson said he has no desire to fight anyone unless it's for the title.  Given what he did to Alexander Gustafsson, it's a very reasonable stance- any fight that isn't for the title would be a high-risk/no-reward scenario.  The only positive would be if Johnson feels he needs fights to stay ready, which apparently isn't the case if he's saying he's willing to sit for a year if need be.

This is not an instance where an interim title is warranted.  Jones is physically capable of fighting; the problem he doesn't seem to be mentally capable right now of being someone the UFC should want as one of their key faces.  If they end up agreeing and pull him from the fight, it would be desperately unfair to Johnson to just pull him as well and not give him a fight.  He should get a fight with whoever else they can get into the cage with him- preferably Cormier- for the real, undisputed light heavyweight belt.  At worst that fight should be set up for a couple of months down the road so whoever Johnson's opponent would be has the opportunity to go through a full camp.

It's the morally and logically correct thing to do.  Watch it not happen.

Update, 4/29: My cynicism proves fallible.  Indefinite suspension for Jones, Johnson/Cormier for the title at UFC 187.

1 comment:

  1. This was a prudent move by Dana White. Right now the image of the UFC is almost as important as the actual product. With all of the problems the NFL has been experiencing the UFC needs to work hard to avoid being lumped in with the NFL as a sport which is about violence and does not care their athletes beyond their ability to perform. I think this was a good step in the right direction. It's also consistent with Dana White and the UFC's general stance of a two strike policy (aka they'll let people screw up once or twice but then there are normally real repercussions).