UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recently voluntarily checked into a drug treatment facility after it became public that he tested positive for cocaine in early December, about a month prior to his Jan. 3 victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.
Jones’ mother told CBS affiliate WBNG that her son’s stint in rehab lasted all of one night, and he plans to be in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday when his two brothers, Chandler and Arthur, line up opposite each other in the AFC Championship game.
Having come under heavy criticism for facing no official punishment from the Nevada Athletic Commission or the UFC at this point, Jones’ brief stint in rehab is likely to fan the flames of criticism to new heights. The UFC especially has come under fire for what many fans view as favorable treatment of Jones because he is one of the promotion’s superstars and not an “average Joe” fighter.
Despite the criticism, Jones’ mother, Camille, sees what happened to her son as a good thing.
“I’m glad that this happened to Jon. This stopped him in his tracks. This let him know that he may need to change some friends,” said Camille Jones in an exclusive interview with WBNG’s Action Sports. “So this is a good thing as far as our family is concerned, so we wasn’t upset. Me and my husband considered it a blessing from God that our child was able to be helped and know that he needs to stop and know that he needed the assistance to stop before it came to something worse.”
Although his trip to the rehab facility was brief, Jones’ mother told WBNG that he is continuing to get more educated on the subject, and believes that her son was able to able to address the problem before it became more serious.
“It was not in his system during the fight, so he’s still a good athlete,” she said. “Before something becomes serious of it, I was glad it was nipped in the bud.”
Neither Jones nor the UFC has commented publicly about his treatment, other than the UFC and company president Dana White voicing support for his decision to get help.
The Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday discussed the circumstances surrounding Jones’ positive out-of-competition drug test result, and is considering forming a committee to review its drug testing approach and how to better handle future issues.