Broken bones: Jon Jones’ fall from grace

Jon Jones, considered by many to be one of the pound-for-pound greatest fighters in MMA, has been stripped of his title following a hit-and-run he allegedly caused on Sunday. And this is a good thing.

The UFC, widely recognized as the preeminent MMA organization in the world, is not fond of its champions acting the proverbial fool. Jones, who was the reigning light-heavyweight champion up until this week, was once considered to be the organization’s biggest draw to date. He had defended his title numerous times, and was a polarizing presence for fans and other fighters. But he was not without his faults. Obviously. Following his last fight he has tested positive for cocaine from a post-fight drug test. The controversy arises when we see how the UFC handled this revelation: They didn’t suspend him, and the results of his fight (which he had one) were not altered to a “no contest,” which tends to be rule of thumb for such situations. Jones went to rehab, for a hilariously short amount of time, and was fined an astounding $25,000 for the infraction.

In the past, fighters who have tested positive for recreational drugs, such as marijuana metabolites, have been suspended for long periods of time (often a year) and had their fights ruled as no contests. One of the most notable examples of this policy is Nick Diaz, who has tested positive for marijuana on previous occasions and has always been punished for it. Now we see Jones, one of the UFC’s shining champions, skating by with a slap on the wrist after testing positive for cocaine, a drug that is illegal in all states in the U.S while marijuana is not.

Dana White, the president of the UFC, has learned from his mistakes in regards to Jones and acted appropriately. Jones has been pulled from his upcoming fight, stripped of his title and suspended for a period of one year. Jones has also lost an endorsement deal with Reebok following the hit-and-run incident. When we look at the situation as a whole, the ramifications of Jones’ actions are on point and deserved. Numerous fighters have seen their careers go up in smoke (pun intended) after testing positive for marijuana. They’ve been judged harshly by all those around them and publicly crucified by the governing bodies of the UFC. If White and company chose not to punish Jones’ actions they would have opened the proverbial can of worms and shown their entire stable of fighters that the rules did not apply to everyone.