Mauro Ranallo has been present first-hand for some of the greatest times in MMA and continues to be a top commentator and analyst in the sport. However, that does not mean that someone so deeply immersed in the professional side of the sport can not be as angry and confused like us fans are when they heard about Jon Jones' positive drug test for Cocaine.
While discussing Ranallo's new job as one-half of the English-speaking commentary team on AXS TV's "New Japan Pro Wrestling" alongside Josh Barnett (which premieres January 16) we meandered over to the topic of MMA and Jon Jones, which Ranallo had plenty to say about:
"It's devastating, it's shocking and it's obviously not a great way to kick off the year in MMA. MMA, a sport that I have been involved in for over a decade, I love MMA... it doesn't matter if its a local show or Pride FC or the UFC, I have covered it at every level, I have called matches at ever level and every time i start commentating a match, I realize just how incredible these people are that are putting their lives on the lines and showcasing their skills. And to see one of the best ever, a guy at the age of 27... Jones has had a history of making these kinds of mistakes.
We all make mistakes, we all do idiotic things but he is a guy with plenty of responsibility. As the old saying goes, with plenty of power comes plenty of responsibilities. He has brands to worry about... he is the UFC light heavyweight champion, and for him to test positive for metabolites and cocaine, which don't even get me started on what the commission and how the UFC has handled this because, frankly, I am very confused and very frustrated, and I have had conversations in the past with the NSAC about how they deal with certain things, and you know, when you follow the WADA code where other competitions drug testing, they don't test for recreational drugs like cocaine or marijuana, so the fact that now the commission is saying it was an anomaly or an oversight, there has to be hell to pay here in many ways.
And while the UFC code of conduct covers substance abuse and all this stuff that is detrimental to the PR and reputation of the company, I know a lot of people are frustrated that Dana White, when Jon Jones pulled out of UFC 152... Dana White railed against him, and now here he tests positive for cocaine and stands firmly in support of him and so at the end of the day, i am no one to judge... but because of the profile and because of who he is, I wish him the best... but there does have to be some repercussions regardless of what the rules are going.
The commission and the UFC had to have known December fourth when the results came out... and a guy who was already a very polarizing personality... now I wonder what the future holds and whether this is going to be all but forgotten and soon enough, we continue, because there seems to be some double standards when you look at the marijuana tests, when you look at the people that have been fired for far less egregious situations... when you look at it from the way it is now, it was out of competition drug test, out of competition is 12 hours, or 12 days before the fight, and hours after the fight, so it's a mess... I really love the sport of MMA but boy, does this sport really do a good job of shooting itself in the foot and when it comes to performance enhancing drugs and drugs of any type, it needs to be eradicated and the commissions need to be overhauled and everyone has got to be on the same page or what's the point? It's not good."
Ranallo had plenty more to say on the topic as you will hear in the video above, which he discusses after we do some fantasy booking for pro wrestling dream matches.
For those readers that are also fans of Pro Wrestling, especially Japanese Pro Wrestling, I urge you to listen to the other parts of this interview I conducted with Mauro, such as this one below where he discusses his roots in pro wrestling, explains the big storyline between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, and tells us why MMA fans should watch NJPW, why they will love it, and how it is nothing like the product that WWE produces:
In this part below, Mauro and I review Wrestle Kingdom 9, which is the NJPW equivalent of "Wrestlemania" and already considered one of the best NJPW shows ever:
If you are unable to view the Ooyala player above or want to embed these videos in other places, head to this link here to see the interview on Jones, this one to see his review of Wrestle Kingdom 9, and this one on why MMA fans should check out NJPW.
Do you agree with Mauro's thoughts on Jon Jones and the drug issue in the UFC?