White: Jon Jones is the ‘best ever’ but this could be ‘the end of his career’

Based on accomplishments alone, Jon Jones may be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, but he may be facing a career asterisk next to his name after the latest incident to mar his resume.

On Tuesday it was revealed that Jones failed a pre-fight drug test administered one day ahead of his bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. Jones tested positive for Turinabol, which is an anabolic steroid that typically carries with it a minimum two year suspension from the sport by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency).

Jones returned to action in July following a one year suspension after he tested positive for a different banned substance last year so because he’s a repeat offender USADA could hammer him with up to a four year suspension as a result.

UFC president Dana White talked to the media on Tuesday night after the drug test went public and while he can’t say for certain what will happen with Jones’ case, he knows if the current light heavyweight champion is suspended for the better part of four years that could be a death sentence for his career.

“If he gets and ends up getting two or three [years suspended], it might be the end of his career. So to talk about his legacy, that’s probably the end of his career,” White said.

“He might [come back]. It’s tough. How old is Jon now? 30? He’d be 33 or 34 trying to make a comeback again and you look at what could have been and what he could have done. It’s sad.”


White has remarked several times after Jones knocked out Cormier at UFC 214 that he believes the reigning champion is the best fighter to ever step inside the Octagon.

It doesn’t seem that White’s opinion has changed necessarily based on this result, but he also knows that this incident could forever ruin what was almost certainly a hall of fame career.

In fact, White believes that Jones had the potential to move up to heavyweight and win a second world title, but now that more than likely seems off the table at least for the time being.

“He’s the best ever in my opinion. He had the potential to move to heavyweight and fight heavyweights,” White said. “If you look at Cormier, Cormier’s never been beat at heavyweight. Jon beat him twice. I’m not saying that means Jon could have reigned in the heavyweight division but he has the size, the power, he has everything to be a heavyweight champion.

“Who knows what could have been. Just one of those sad stories.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.