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Jon Jones spends day personally apologizing to UFC 232 fighters, meeting fans

UFC 214: Weigh-ins Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) and several “experts,” Jon Jones didn’t do anything wrong on his end to churn out an abnormality on a recent drug test. On the contrary, the positive result supposedly stems from his failed drug test more than one year ago.

As a result of the latest hiccup, UFC 232 — which is set to go down this Saturday night (Dec. 29, 2018) — was moved from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Inglewood, Calif., on a week’s notice. Naturally, several fighters who will now get smaller checks because of the higher tax rates in California, as well as and fight fans — who spent plenty of coin to go to “Sin City” — were very unhappy with the venue switcheroo.

That’s the reason “Bones” took it upon himself to personally apologize to as many fighters competing at the event face-to-face.

“I feel good. I really can’t afford to feel any other way. I feel bad for the fans. I went around today apologizing to every UFC fighter that was on the card that I’ve seen in person,” Jones told MMA Junkie. “So far, they’ve all said that they’ve forgiven me, and I think I need to prioritize my emotions and save all the emotions for after the fight. After the fight, I definitely plan on doing what I can do to give back to fans who really lost out.”

To begin with, Jones took time out of his busy fight week to hold an impromptu meet-and-greet with fans inside MGM Grand Garden’s main lobby.

To hear Jones tell it, he was as surprised as anyone when he found out about the news.

“Honestly, my initial reaction was ‘not again,’” Jones admitted. “It felt like a nightmare, but honestly, I think my faith in God has really, really helped me out with this situation, just believing that, ‘Hey, listen, this is all what my story is going to be. Just be with me, God, through it all, and keep me strong to handle all this.’ Some things are out of my control, and you’ve just got to learn to focus on what you can control,” he added.

“Another thing I’ve done is to be able to lean on my team. So many people stepped up and wrote me the most positive things, and all the messages were pretty much the same. ‘You can’t afford to get emotionally weak this close to the fight. Stay focused. Stay strong, and believe that this is just meant to be and let go, let God, and do your best. Control what you can control,’ and that’s what I’m doing.”

Jones will face Alexander Gustafsson — who had the option of postponing the rematch until March — for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.

To see who else will be fighting at UFC 232: “Jones vs Gustafsson 2” click here.

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