Jon Jones is facing a potential four-year ban from mixed martial arts (MMA) after he failed a pre-fight drug test for his championship bout against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 this past July for the banned substance Turinabol.
It’s not a good look for the legacy of “Bones,” as he previously served a lengthy suspension for failing a drug test prior to UFC 200. But how has Jon’s failed drug tests affected the sport as a whole?
According to former opponent Quinton Jackson, it gave the sport and its fighters a black eye, so to speak, as now people on the outside looking in view all MMA combatants as a bunch of “steroid freaks.”
“Jon Jones put that light on every MMA fighter, that we all do that shit. It’s bad for the sport and it makes everybody else look bad because people think that we are steroid freaks,” said “Rampage” on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “I don’t know the shit that’s going on with Jones or if he passed or failed that shit, but it’s bad.”
“Listen, I’ve told you guys before and I hate to say it because me and Jon Jones have hung out when we was doing Fit Expo for Monster. We bonded a little but and I don’t want to say anything bad about Jon Jones, but I have to keep it real,” added Jackson.
“I’ve said it before that Jon Jones was bad for the sport because how I thought he did dirty tactics and stuff like that. One thing about me is that I am totally against drugs. I am against fighters being able to use steroids. Fighters like that make a lot of other fighters look bad.”
According to Jackson, he has often been accused of using steroids throughout his combat sports career, and revealed that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White once gave him a surprise drug test because even he thought he was fighting with the help of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
“I find myself defending myself on Instagram because people assume that I have taken steroids before, and I know there are ignorant people that don’t know what steroids people look like, but to me it’s a slap in the face because I have worked hard my whole life,” added Jackson.
“I was naturally muscular and strong. People assumed I was on steroids because all of these fighters got popped. I have never been popped for steroids. I was honest and telling everybody that the doctor ordered me to take testosterone after I lost to Jon Jones. I couldn’t believe I lost to him, I was overconfident and I can’t believe I lost to him. I went to the doctor and the doctor tested my testosterone levels and he said there was no way I should be fighting with testosterone that low,” he said.
“Any fighter that has to take steroids, and our body produces testosterone naturally, but if you have to take steroids to be a fighter, to get in and fight another man, then you are really not a fighter, that’s how I feel. I have never failed a steroid piss test. Dana White thought I was on steroids when I fought Forrest Griffin. He came in and said, ‘Rampage, after you fight you get big you blow up, gain a lot of weight. That’s a trait of someone being on steroids.’ But people don’t know my body," explained Quinton.
Spending a lot of his career fighting in Japan for PRIDE Fighting Championship didn’t help his cause, either, as consuming steroids was common in that organization due to its lack of a strong athletic commission. But, Jackson admits he never once dabbled with steroids during that era, either.
“Even in PRIDE when people took steroids, I never took it. I was young in PRIDE. I was 23, 24, and no one that age should even be thinking about steroids. I didn’t know Wanderlei was on steroids when I fought him. I didn't know who was. So Dana surprised test me and I passed the surprise test,” he concluded.
As a result of Jon’s positive tests, his win against Daniel Cormier was overturned to a “No Contest” and “DC” was given his Light Heavyweight title back.
As for Jon’s fighting career, it’s currently hanging in the balance as United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) still hasn’t issued his punishment.