When it was revealed that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones failed an out-of-competition drug test for cocaine metabolites on Dec. 4, leading up to his UFC 182 title fight against Daniel Cormier on Jan. 6, Jones immediately entered a rehabilitation facility.
He was applauded for taking such a step to deal with a potential drug abuse problem that resulted in the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world using a government classified Schedule II drug four weeks out from a title fight – in the middle of training camp.
“I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility,” UFC President Dana White said in a statement reacting to the positive drug test. “I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”
The 27-year-old MMA superstar initially indicated that he was determined to face the problem head on, and was taking rehabilitation seriously. According to his mother, Camille Jones, in an exclusive interview with WBNG’s Action Sports, “Bones” spent one night in rehab.
On the surface, it looks as if Jones entered treatment to resolve a public relations problem more than a drug abuse issue. The whole rehabilitation announcement felt like damage control reminiscent of the actions of a Hollywood celebrity caught in a similar scandal.
We don’t know why Jones checked out of the treatment facility within 24 hours of checking in. The champion has been on radio silence since releasing the statement about entering rehab. Once Jones explains his side of the story, UFC president Dana White believes the public will understand his decision.
“When the whole story comes out, people will understand. It will be put into perspective,” White told the Boston Herald in an interview Wednesday. “When Jon Jones comes out and does his interview, the truth will come out, and everyone will understand. Or they won’t, you know. Jon is a very polarizing guy, people either love him or they hate him. Either way, the truth will come out soon.”