Respected Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) color commentator Joe Rogan drew one of the more high-profile mixed martial arts (MMA) interviews of the year when he sat down with former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones earlier this week on his podcast (watch here). While much of the conversation revolved around Jones' past habits prior to stepping inside of the Octagon, the two also discussed his UFC 200 debacle.
"The week of the fight, UFC 200, my manager Malki calls up me up to my hotel room," said Jones, "and says ‘hey I want to talk to you, man,'" and I said ‘what's going on,' and he said ‘you're not going to be fighting,' and I said ‘what are you talking about' and he said ‘you didn't pass your drug test.'
"And the level of hurt and confusion and, I literally had an anxiety attack and I've never had one of those before," Jones continued. "I felt like the whole room just came in on me. The whole room came down on me. I couldn't breathe. I remember opening up the window out to the balcony so that I could breathe and realize I was not trapped."
"I instantly started thinking about how I had the weight of the world literally on my back," added Jones. "I knew that I wasn't going to be fighting hours before everyone else, the public knew. Even my own coaches were looking at me, like their hearts were on the floor. I had done so much to get back to fighting at UFC 200, getting my life in order, getting the people around me in order, getting my heart and mind into just being ... even now, people look at me like I still don't have my s**t together."
While Jones is thankful that United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) determined he didn't willingly cheat by taking boner boosters, the 29-year-old must remain under the radar if he wants to regain the trust of his fans, fellow fighters and the promotion heading into 2017.
"The only thing I did was I took a pill that I thought was going to give me a boner," said Jones. "And it caused me a lot of heartache and a lot of disappointment and it just threw me back a year."