It’s nice to be back. From this day forth every Monday will be full of Mayhem here on MMASucka.com. Whether it be interviews, opinions, ideas, or even a movie review from time-to-time, it will be my goal to make this column as interesting as possible.
UFC 187 has come and gone and it was finally nice to have a pay-per-view where we weren’t talking about anything else but entertaining fights. With all of the negative publicity that has been swirling around outside of the Octagon, we got to put that all aside for a few hours and be reminded again on why we love this sport.
The main card was epic and if you were a new fan, it did a fabulous job of introducing what mixed martial arts truly is. We had drama, excitement, ups and downs, back and forth slug fests, redemption and dominance. It really couldn’t have been packaged any better.
What that card actually did was remind us on what the UFC used to be on a more consistent basis. This column today though is not about the watering down of the sport, instead the focus is on the man who is no longer participating and provided us with some of those great MMA moments.
Jon Jones (21-1-1) is the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of the world and let’s really let that set in for a second and lock that idea into our brains. Former doesn’t mean current or future; it’s meaning is past tense. Daniel Cormier (16-1) is the current light-heavyweight champion and that’s a fact that people need to accept. All Cormier did was pounce on the opportunity that was put in front of him and he beat Anthony Johnson (19-5) down and claimed what is rightfully his.
On April 26, “Bones” Jones got in a little car accident, allegedly fled the scene, came back to his vehicle to grab a stack of cash, and then ran off again. Allegedly.
We all know the story that’s out there so there is no reason to rehash the incident. In quick fashion the UFC stripped Jones of the title and suspended him indefinitely. It was bye, bye title and hello legal issues. Since that time Jones has been quiet. I’m sure there are days where he would love to spew things on Twitter and than delete them. But there has been nothing. Just quiet.
That kind of silence can eat away at someone. It’s the kind of quiet though that can also transform. There is pride, embarrassment, and shame that comes along with the antics that Jones was allegedly involved in. Not to mention coming to terms to what happened that early morning in Albuquerque. Flee’ing the scene of an accident is inhumane and Jon coming to terms with that will be tough, so silence is needed. Contemplation can’t happen without it.
We were all young once. Imagine being dominant in a sport, winning a world title at 23 and given a shit load of cash and fame in a blink of an eye. Some of us would be fine, while many of us would probably enjoy every substance and fast lane available. I know that had I reached that kind of fame at a young age, I would probably have been my own worst nightmare.
After Cormier won the title Dana White told Ariel Helwani that he understood why some didn’t recognize DC as the real champion because of the old adage of “to be the man, you have to beat the man.” The thing is, Cormier and Johnson didn’t have to do anything but get into a cage and fight because Jones had already beat the man for them.
“I said a long time ago: ‘Whenever somebody wins the belt at such a young age and the money and the fame that goes along with it, it’s going to be a tough ride,'” UFC president Dana White said after stripping Jones of his title.
Now it comes down to this. What would I do if I was Jon Jones? While he sits in quiet contemplation and allows his lawyers to dig him out of a hole, the first thing one should do is cut loose every negative human being attached to him including management, friends, entourage etc… To find himself he needs to strip away the shit.
Jon has tried so hard to be something that he is not that somewhere down the line he has lost himself. We have seen this before. What’s interesting, and one of the inspirations for this write up, is a 30 for 30 documentary called Brian and the Boz which is about the great NCAA football player Brian Bosworth.
The title of the film refers to an internal conflict Bosworth discusses during the film at length, which got to the point where the image he created for himself as “The Boz” took control of his life. In a nutshell it was too much to fast for the young Boz and the same can be said for Jones.
You can only live life in the fast lane for so long before you crash – no pun intended, but it is an interesting metaphor. After getting rid of all the negativity, Jones needs to make amends, not just to the people he has hurt but to himself. I know that sounds like a lot of psycho babble bullshit but it’s true. Wherever his faith lies, and he does claim to be a Christian, he needs to find strength in that to forgive himself. Otherwise he will never be able to move on and these sort of bad habits become cyclical.
Donate to charities find time to give back to the community and not just do it to reshape or fix an image problem, do it because it is a fantastic way to rebuild ones self and stay grounded. I know people who work with sick children or give of themselves to many different causes because it humbles them and at the same time you’re giving of yourself; there is no bigger joy.
That is the key, is to go back to your roots and stay grounded. Some people find that in family, marriage, great friendships etc… I think meditation works the best either in a quiet room or in a float tank. However one does it, it’s important to surround yourself with people and a lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to get too high into the stars of entitlement.
Lastly, Jon has to accept that he is not the UFC Light-heavyweight champion anymore. That title was stripped. He lost it. Unfortunately it wasn’t through combat in a cage, but he lost it with this actions. When he does come back to the UFC he needs to continue to be quiet. There is no need to make loud statements that he is the real champion. Instead what he needs to do is burry his head, train, and come back as a better fighter.
Before he can do that he needs to become a better man. Dana White is correct when he says there is no real timeline in when Jones will be back due to all of the legalities that he has to face in the future for his actions. However, the return of “Bones” Jones shouldn’t happen when all of his legal issues are finalized, he should come back when he is truly ready to be a changed man.
So for now we move on. Allow Jones to sit in silence and that same idea should continue upon his return. If I was Jon I would find no reason to pronounce that you’re a changed person. Words mean nothing. People will see it in the actions and I hope one day we’ll observe that expression in the Octagon when he’s ready.
All Jonathan Dwight Jones has to do is look at the tattoo on his chest and find solace in that. That’s a good start.