While Jon Jones’ octagon resume speaks for itself, his much-discussed personal controversy continues to be a talking point in itself.
The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Is set to take on Thiago Santos at UFC 239 and as a result, ‘Maretta’ has had his own say too. Speaking to reporters at last week’s UFC 237 event, Santos pondered ‘Bones’ eventual legacy. “That’s his karma to carry,” he said in his native Portuguese.
“He will be remembered as a doper, he will be remembered as someone who drives intoxicated. These are his things. I have to worry about not being remembered for that. It’s his life, if that’s how he wants to live it…it doesn’t bother me. Like I said, inside the octagon, his talent is undeniable. Outside of it, unfortunately, he’s not a good example. It’s what I think.”
While all pre-fight talk should obviously be taken with a grain of salt, Santos is far from alone in this particular assessment. Jones’ history with failed drug tests is well documented and so is the infamous hit-and-run incident that Santos referenced here too. Most recently, that same publicized metabolite continued to appear in Jones’ tests, the one that unforgettably forced UFC 232 to move from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California.
Nonetheless, Jones remains unparalleled once the cage door closes, reclaiming the title opposite Alexander Gustafsson and then defending it opposite Anthony Smith. Jones’ maintains his innocence but as you’d imagine, not all of his foes have been convinced. For Santos, the situation should be far simpler than it is.
“If it works a certain way for me – I’ve been tested 26 times – it has to be the same for him. No picograms have ever shown up in me. Why are there (picograms) in him? Is he an extra-terrestrial? I don’t know, it’s weird. They should look more into that.”
Nonetheless, Santos main concern surrounds UFC 239 and by its nature, Jones’ history obviously impacts that as well. “I think what I’m afraid of the most is that he (expletive)s up before the 6th and the fight doesn’t happen, That’s my biggest fear. That he messes up and the fight doesn’t happen. Because what we want is this fight.”
Time will tell but as of right now, Santos’ title tilt with Jones is scheduled for July 6th, the headline attraction for International Fight Week. That event airs on PPV via ESPN+. For more on Santos' strategy, click here.