As one of the greatest light heavyweights to ever compete under the UFC banner, retired fan favorite Chuck Liddell had a few things to say about Jon Jones’ most recent drug testing failure at UFC 214.
Liddell, who decided to hang up the gloves in 2010, feels sorry for ‘Bones’ and wonders if the Jackson-Wink product got involved with ‘the wrong people’.
“He’s his own worst enemy,” Liddell said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “And he was such a great fighter, I don’t know why he decided — it seemed like he decided in his offseason that one time to start using steroids. And obviously he’s got his time in court, I guess, still. I don’t know. But it seems real obvious with his increase in size and stuff. But I don’t know that he needed that, and it just seemed like he got maybe around the wrong people, got around the wrong ideas, and decided he wanted to (use PEDs), and now he’s gotten caught. It’s sad.”
Jones, 30, is one of the most controversial stars in the sport and has been stripped of the light heavyweight title three times in three years. The former champion tested positive for steroids prior to his championship rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 but the results were not attained until after the bout. Jones beat ‘DC’ via third-round KO, landing a devastating head kick and a series of follow-up punches, but the result was recently overturned to a No Contest in light of his failed drug test.
‘The Iceman’ suspects that Jones started using performance-enhancing drugs during his 2015-2016 suspension for a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“It looked like there was a huge change in a short period of time, that one break he took,” Liddell said. “It seemed like he grew a lot over that time. So, I don’t know. I seem to think that’s when it started, but I don’t know. He hasn’t come out and said anything. It’s another tainted supplement (for UFC 214), right? So I don’t know. He gets his time in court, we’ll see what happens with that too.”
Because Jones has tested positive for banned substances in the past, flagging for clomiphene and letrozole prior to UFC 200, the Rochester-born fighter is looking at a four-year suspension. His longtime striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn, thinks a four-year ban could spell the end of his career.
But Liddell, who defended his UFC 205-pound title four times before losing to ‘Rampage’ Jackson in 2007, wants to see the troubled star back in the Octagon.
“But I still, I wouldn’t want to see a four-year (suspension for Jones). I still want to see him fight again.”
As well as being stripped of the championship, Jones has also been removed from the UFC rankings. The MMA prodigy recently declared his innocence on twitter, tweeting that he would ‘never’ do steroids.