Everyone has been pitching in with their take on Jon Jones situation since he checked into a rehab center earlier in the week after testing positive for cocaine prior to UFC 182, but few have been insightful as the one offered by Anthony Pettis.
They say you shouldn’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes and with that in mind perhaps Pettis is uniquely qualified to give his opinion since he’s another highly touted UFC champion in the prime of his career who seemingly has the world at his feet and the potential to be one of the all-time greats in the sport.
Pettis had the spotlight shone on him early in his career with a documentary profile on MTV while he was in the WEC organization and went on to become a champion there after pulling off his now infamous ‘Showtime Kick’ against Ben Henderson which has now become one of the most instantly recognizable highlight clips in the sport.
Since then he’s gone on to become the UFC lightweight champion, coached on The Ultimate Fighter and picked up high profile sponsorships with the likes of Wheaties and Reebok.
“It’s hard,” Pettis told MMAjunkie when asked about Jon Jones predicament. “Jon’s young. He’s my age: 27. You get put in front of a lot of people who care about who you are and there’s some negative energy around that, as well. Some people don’t want to see you do good or want to introduce you to things that will bring you down, and it’s kind of up to you. You’ve got to be strong-willed. You’ve got to know what to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.”
“For me, I lost my dad to that kind of stuff, so I already knew. I feel like I have a strong willpower not to get mixed up in that stuff. Anybody else, I think it’s hard. It’s definitely there. It’s around you at parties you go to and events you go to. These people have a different level of income and a different amount of money and it might be presented to you in a different way than somebody would in your neighborhood. That’s how it is for me.
“If somebody presented it to me in my neighborhood I’d be like, ‘No, I don’t want to be like you. You’re not doing as good as I am.’ But then you see people doing way better than you and they’re doing it and presenting it to you in a different way, it’s hard to juggle. You have to be careful.”