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Former UFC champ Jon Jones admits he 'was a drug addict'

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who returns to action this weekend, recently admitted he was a drug addict based on his marijuana use.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones finally returns this weekend in the main event of UFC 197 following nearly a 16-month layoff. The past year has been difficult for the pound-for-pound king as he has found himself in legal trouble more than once in that time frame. A positive drug test for cocaine kicked things off last January, which was followed by a hit-and-run accident in April. He was stripped of his UFC title after the accident, in which he injured a pregnant woman. Despite all of this, Jones has an upcoming court date -- which will occur after his next fight -- for allegedly drag racing last month.

Jones has opened up very much and has been very revealing of his past since his pair of controversial actions last year. Apart of a plea deal struck last year stemming from the hit-and-run accident, Jones spoke to a number of schools and community centers about his career and his past. In an exclusive interview early last year following the positive drug test, Jones suggested he was not addicted to cocaine by any means. Jones admitted he "had done it before, quite a few times in college and experimented with it." Jones also stated he "has done his share of partying" but clarified he was "not a cocaine addict by any means or even a frequent user (in 2015 at the time of the interview or in the past)."

With that being said, he never admitted whether or not he was, at one point in his life or another, addicted to drugs.

Until now.

"I was a drug addict," Jones told USA TODAY Sports in March.

Jones confirmed at a UFC press conference last month that he has been sober for almost seven months, at the time of the writing of this article.

According to Jones, it doesn't matter what drug one uses. He believes if one regularly uses any type of drug, they are addicted.

"One thing people don’t realize is that you can be a drug addict even if you are a stoner. If you are waking up every day and smoking, smoking before you eat, smoking before you train, smoke before you sleep, smoking before you watch a movie, smoking before your study session, you are an addict. It doesn’t have to be a hard drug to be an addict.

"If you’re spending lots of money on it and all your friends are people who do it as well and you don’t really associate with people who are completely sober, then, yeah, you are an addict. I think that’s why people have these issues with marijuana, because they don’t really consider it a drug."

Jones fights Ovince Saint Preux for the interim UFC light heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 197, which takes place live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday, April 23. He is expected to rematch bitter-rival Daniel Cormier, the current titleholder, later this year to unify the two belts with a win over Saint Preux.