According to Jon Jones’ manager Malki Kawa, Georges St-Pierre’s successful comeback to claim the middleweight title proved to be a big source of motivation for the troubled star.
“When he saw GSP do what he did, it actually lit a fire under him,” Kawa told Ariel Helwani. “He said, ‘Man, you know what, if he can do that after four years, why can’t I? Why can’t I go out there and do that?’ Or whatever it might be. So, Jon, never once did he say, ‘I’m gonna quit, I don’t want to do this anymore.’”
Kawa went on to claim that Jones is now hungry to return to the Octagon and could be better than ever if and when he does so.
“He’s in a good place. He’s anxious to get back more than anything,” Kawa said. “People you say you get that itch — he’s got an itch, man. It’s bad. I actually feel bad for the next guy that fights him. I really do.”
“Not saying he’s going to take it all out on him. But he’s sharpening his tools to where you thought he was good before, wait until you see him now.”
That being said, the chances of Jones returning to the Octagon any time soon lie in the hands of USADA, who still have to decide what to do about the former light-heavyweight champion having tested positive for oral turinabol last year.
Jones and his team have previously strongly protested his innocence and have expressed confidence that he will escape a lengthy punishment, but USADA have still to complete their investigation and so Kawa is hoping it doesn’t drag on for too much longer.
“USADA does a very good job. People are banging on them and hating on them. There’s things I do not agree with with USADA. I’ve told them behind closed doors things I don’t agree with. But USADA does a very good job. They’ve done a very good job cleaning up the sport. It’s imperative that they get this right. It’s imperative that they get this case right, because of who Jon is. And I think they’re doing the best they can to get it right. With that being said, I’m confident that we will have a decision soon. I just don’t want to put a date on it and say, it’s gonna come down at this time, it’s gonna come at that time.
“There is a decision coming and it’s hopefully sooner rather than later.”