Often called the best fighter on the planet, it’s stunning to learn that former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones used to self-sabotage, getting “blacked-out wasted” before all of his fights.
Jones has been in and out of trouble, mostly outside of the Octagon, over the past several years. At the same time, he has amassed a 22-1 record (his lone loss being a controversial disqualification seven years ago), become the light heavyweight champion and been stripped of said designation, and set numerous UFC records.
All the while, Jones harbored something inside, an insecurity, that he says led him to give himself an automatic out in case he ever lost. He would go out do some extreme partying just one week before all of his fights.
“I had this crazy thing that I would do where I would party one week before every fight. I did it throughout my whole career,” Jones explained in an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “It was stupid, but it was this mental crutch that I had. I literally, I would go out and get blacked out wasted.”
Somehow, in Jones’ mind, it would be better to look himself in the mirror knowing he had sabotaged himself leading up to a loss than it would have been simply to lose to another athlete.
“My logic was, if this guy were to beat me somehow, I could look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I lost because I got hammered the week before the fight.’ It was a safety net. I did it my whole career. I would go out and get hammered one week before every fight.”
He now says that his pre-fight week partying days are over. Following a felony hit-and-run incident in April of 2015, Jones has been on a path to recovery, working to stay sober and put his career back on track. Though he is currently on suspension for an anti-doping violation, Jones said he didn’t give himself an out for his lone fight over the past year, a victory over Ovince Saint-Preux.
Jones isn’t eligible to get back in the cage until July of 2017, but has indicated that he fully intends to return. He has competed in a submission grappling match, recently defeating Dan Henderson, and wants to continue to do grappling competitions until he can get back in the Octagon.
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