Despite a history of failed drug tests, one thing Jones is sure about is that no asterisk will get attached to his accomplishments.
“There will always be asterisks,” Jones said at the UFC 232 pre-fight press conference. “There’s asterisks next to ‘Who’s pound-for-pound the greatest of all time?’ In my mind there is no asterisk. I was afraid of there being an asterisk next to my career when I was uneducated, but as I’m learning what this really is, I’m actually almost mad that it was even mentioned. It’s invisible. You can’t take a picogram. It’s that small, you can’t knowingly take it, that’s how small it is. I have completely set myself free from any type of — I listen to fighters from the past be like, ‘This is why he beat me, because he had this in me.’ And I get why they need to do that, to feel better, to feel like I can do it the second time. I get why they’re doin’ that. But I’ve taken off the asterisk next to what I’ve done. I know what I’ve done. Every pushup, every situp, freaking showing up to practice early, leaving there late, wrestling camp since I was 12 years old, endless tournaments, I know what I’ve done. After beating Gustafsson I’m going to be right back on the track that I’ve always been on, which is being one of the all-time greats and I know that in my heart, no matter who believes me or not.”
Jones has previously failed two drug tests and an abnormality in his latest test caused the UFC to change the location of UFC 232 to Inglewood, California.
The former champion says that situations like his happens across all sports and the fighter would like to be on the front lines of making changes to that.
“What I’m finding out is this shit is happening all across sports,” Jones said. “There’s so many athletes right now that has M3 metabolite in their body and it’s coming in pulses and it’s coming in waves, but my situation is the most public. The reason why I’m here today being able to fight is because it gives me no advantage. Science is getting so good that they’re finding shit — I guarantee you there’s many people in the audience that has shit that’s on the banned list that’s never done any type of steroids, that wouldn’t even know what this shit is. So the fact of the matter is there is something in bloodstream, it does not give me any advantage, and I’m grateful that USADA found it because I’ll be able to educate myself and no more about it and for fighters in the future it’s going to help out a lot of people. I think the science is just so strong they’re finding shit that — it’s hard to explain. But I know for a fact that this is going to help fighters of the future and our sport and no one said it should be easy being who I am. I accept the difficulty in it and I’m up for the challenge and like I said, through science I feel like I’ll be vindicated, so no worries. This is all going to be a blessing in disguise for me.”
UFC 232 takes place on Saturday, December 29 from The Forum in Inglewood, California with Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.