Dana White believes Jon Jones couldn’t handle the pressure associated with being on top
Pressure can turn coal into dust or diamonds and the same can be said for athletes who reach the pinnacle of sports when it comes to fame and fortune.
It’s part of the reason why UFC president Dana White believes that former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has stumbled so often during his career while consistently proving that inside the Octagon there may not be anyone better.
The most recent incidents involving Jones’ missteps have also taken a toll on the way his accomplishments will be viewed after he’s failed two separate drug tests in the past 16 months.
As of now, Jones remains under provisional suspension after he tested positive for steroids following his last fight over Daniel Cormier with a potential penalty that could see him tossed out of the sport for up to four years over this latest incident.
White says he questioned how Jones would handle all the pressure that came along with being touted as potentially the greatest fighter in the history of the sport and recent actions have answered that for him.
“I’m in a business where when the fame happens and the money, you have to understand the crazy type of money that comes in, in the fight business. Even in the NFL, they come in at a certain level and if they become great they have the opportunity to make millions. These guys like Jon Jones just started coming in and making millions of dollars immediately. He was like 24 years old,” White explained when speaking to the Dan LeBatard show recently.
“You can go back to interviews of me saying yeah that’s great, he’s talented enough to win the belt — can he handle all the pressure and all the stuff that goes along with being world champion, with being famous, with being rich? That question got answered.”
There’s still no clear indication on how long it may take for Jones’ adjudication process to play out with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Association) as well as the California State Athletic Commission but for now he remains on the sidelines after being stripped of his title.
Outside the cage, Jones has also faced a myriad of legal issues including a DUI and a hit-and-run accident in 2015 that cost him the light heavyweight title and a long suspension from the sport.
While Jones being out of action undoubtedly hurts the UFC’s bottom line, White says he’s no longer disappointed by what the former light heavyweight champion does because it’s happened so often, he’s used to it by now.
“I don’t think there’s any frustration level with Jon Jones,” White said. “This stuff has happened so many times over and over again it’s just like I’m numb to it now.”