’Tis that time of year again, folks. While most Americans are sitting around stuffing their faces with turkey and mashed potatoes and mellowing out to some tryptophan, the staff at Sherdog.com has compiled its All-Turkey Team for 2016.
In the past, mixed martial arts has provided us with quite a few questionable characters, and this year has been no different. The latest group of offenders -- or members -- delivered what might have been the most eclectic rap sheet yet:
He has become a fixture on the All-Turkey Team, and Jones has no one to blame but himself. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder has been stripped of promotional gold -- undisputed and interim -- twice in the last two years as the result of misdeeds away from competition. Inside the cage, Jones is a transcendent talent with a real chance to go down as the Greatest Fighter of All-Time. Outside the cage, he has been at times a menace to society and a drag on those around him.
Sherdog columnist Andreas Hale was right to ask, “Is Jon Jones the Biggest Waste of Talent in Pro Sports?” While that question cannot be answered yet, Jones certainly seems more inclined to self-destruction than historical success. His latest misstep will cost him a year of his prime. The United States Anti-Doping agency levied a one-year suspension against him on Nov. 7 in response to a failed drug test five months earlier. Jones received a provisional suspension in July after he tested positive for clomiphene and letrozole, substances that are banned by the USADA. The positive test resulted in Jones being pulled from a scheduled rematch with Daniel Cormier in the UFC 200 main event on July 9 in Las Vegas. He challenged the findings, as his attorney argued that the positive test was the result of a sexual-enhancement pill Jones had received from a teammate. An independent panel from McLaren Global Sports Solutions found Jones at fault and came down with the one-year suspension. The decision was detailed in a 29-page report that was released to the public. Jones was later stripped of the interim UFC light heavyweight championship. His suspension will run through July 6, 2017, and he still faces possible disciplinary action from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Almost universally recognized as the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, Jones’ mixed martial arts career has been interrupted by a series of mistakes away from the cage. He tested positive for cocaine in January 2015 and was involved in a hit-and-run accident three months later that led to his being stripped of the undisputed UFC light heavyweight title. Jones owns a 22-1 record but has never been legitimately defeated inside the Octagon, as his lone loss was the result of a disqualification against Matt Hamill at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale in 2010.
Whether or not Jones can conquer his personal demons remains to be seen. If past history is an indication of future behavior, it does not look promising.
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