As revealed earlier this week, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been arrested for DWI and firearms offences. Jones has since been released from custody but will have to reappear in court on April 8th. In light of this news, many professional fighters have been heavily critical of Jones. In fact, Jones’ former teammate Diego Sanchez launched an explicit attack on him over twitter, whilst middleweight champion Israel Adesanya expressed his disbelief with a meme on Instagram.
Despite this, many of Jones’ UFC colleagues have sprung to his defence. After bodycam footage showed an emotional Jones reveal that he suffers from anxiety, many have come to the conclusion that Jones is not in control of his own actions and needs serious help and support. Here are the latest reactions from fighters on the Jones arrest.
Pros Defend Jon Jones
UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko backed Jones, saying he will return to the octagon stronger. Shevchenko referenced her own personal experiences with Jones, describing him as a “kind and noble man”.
So sad the modern world is all about hype!
Now many people starting to insult Jon Jones without knowing his real situation!
Fighting on the same card , I could see he is kind and noble man !
Him being in all that difficult times – he will be back Stronger ! 💪🏻
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) March 26, 2020
Fearsome heavyweight Francis Ngannou has previously expressed his interest in welcoming Jones into the heavyweight division. Ngannou made clear that he was not defending Jones’ actions, but did have a message of support for his fellow fighter.
It’s funny to sit back and see how people are going crazy about Jon Jones. Obviously he needs to get his shit together. I’m not defending him but people shouldn’t throw stones like we are all perfect. I hope this guy gets back to where he needs to be – entertaining the world.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) March 27, 2020
Jared Gordon’s inspirational story of battling addiction has been well documented. As a self-described recovery and addiction advocate, Gordon’s unique understanding of Jones’ potential situation makes his viewpoint an important one to acknowledge. Gordon made clear that Jones needs help for what he believes to be a chemical dependency.
Jon Jones is just sick. Simple as that. He is spiritually unfit, clearly chemical dependent (severity TBD), coupled with bad decision making= multiple legal infractions. He just needs help.
— Jared Gordon (@JFlashGordonMMA) March 28, 2020
In his reaction to the arrest of Jon Jones, middleweight standout Jacare Souza called for people to show empathy towards Jones at this time. Souza highlighted the fact that only Jones truly knows what he is suffering with, and that the Alberqurque man is “paying the price” for his mistakes.
Everyone is talking about what Jon Jones did.
If he did it he’s already paying the price.
Nobody knows about the battles he fights inside. Have more empathy for people.#bestrongchamp
— Ronaldo Jacaré (@JacareMMA) March 28, 2020
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