UFC Light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones made the headlines at the weekend for all the wrong reasons after being arrested for DUI after crashing his Bentley in New York, and it’s not an incident that his boss, UFC president Dana White, is going to overlook.
White tells the Boston Herald that he’s, “super disappointed and bummed out” that the 24 year-old has failed to live up to the ‘good guy’ image that he had appeared to be working hard to build and maintain during his meteoric rise to becoming both a champion and the newest superstar in the sport.
The UFC had bought into that image completely, even going as far as to make him the first fighter ever that they sponsored themselves ahead of his latest fight.
Now a concerned White has summoned ‘Bones’ to sit-down talks in Las Vegas to get a read on where the fighter’s head is at and if this is going to be a mistake that he’ll learn from and never repeat, or a warning sign that the pressures of fame and fortune have gotten to him and there may be more troubles ahead.
“It’s really sitting down and figuring out what is it you want to do,” White said of the upcoming meeting. “You’re 24 years old, you could be a force in this sport for the next 10 years and go down as the greatest ever – beat everybody, do all this stuff, be the first guy to break through and get a Nike deal, the first guy to get Gatorade and all these other things. Do you want to be that guy or do you want to go the other way? You can go the other way, too, and you can be the total bad guy, make a few million here or there and then go tell everybody to go, ‘(Expletive) off.’ It’s no different whether it’s the UFC, boxing, the NBA, the NFL – it’s the guys who really focus and get their (stuff) together no matter how old you are, whether you’re 21 or 31. That’s what we’ve got to figure out where Jones is at and what he wants to do.”
Jones almost unparalleled ability in the Octagon has lead many observers to believe he could one day be considered one of MMA’s great’s, but White has been around the block more than enough times to know that it takes more than that if you want to have a lasting impact in the sport.
“The road is littered with talented guys who didn’t live up to their potential,” White warns.