Brian Stann, a former teammate of UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, took to national television to defend ‘Bones' after he tested positive for cocaine metabolites, and offered his best wishes for the champ's eventual recovery.
After making it clear that Jon's priority should be his own betterment and that of his family, Stann added that he does not believe the failed drug test should impact the result of his UFC 182 title defence against Daniel Cormier - even though the result came several weeks before the fight.
"In my eyes as an analyst and being that it's out of competition, no," Stann told ‘America's Pregame' (via MMAFighting.com). "I don't think there's a whole lot of performance enhancement speaking of cocaine. I mean obviously he didn't take it right before the fight. I think obviously this is going to hurt his image and a lot of the other things he has going on outside of the Octagon for his brand, but this is an opportunity for him to do what's best for him and his family right now. That's the No. 1 priority and knowing Jon personally I don't think there's anything this kid can't overcome."
Stann, who referred to Jones' test result as "unfortunate," explained that Jones is more than capable of overcoming the negative publicity and revamping his image over time. The Fox Sports 1 analyst even compared the champion to former United States President Bill Clinton, who had a fair share of controversial moments during his time in office.
"It's going to be difficult," said Stann. "It's certainly going to be negative for his image. After the [Cormier] fight [Jones] did some interviews where I thought a lot of people really came around and saw the real side of Jon Jones. People started talking and saying, 'Hey, give the guy a break. He doesn't have to be perfect. He can be a little mean.' So I think this swings the pendulum a little bit back in the opposite direction. He's going to get criticized and he's going to have to take this one on the chest, but first and foremost he's got to worry about himself and his family.
"But look, this is a country where one of the highest paid speakers in the country is [former U.S. president] Bill Clinton and he's considered a hero in many ways. [Clinton] has certainly overcome much worse than a positive drug test so I think Jon can overcome this."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.