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OSP not stewing over latest Jon Jones drug test failure: ‘Everything comes out to light eventually’

On the back of Jon Jones’ second drug test failure since defeating Ovince St-Preux in 2016, the Knoxville Martial Arts fighter wouldn’t mind knowing if Jones was doping for their bout, but he’s not too hung up on it.

When a fighter has gone through as much public self-destruction as Jon Jones, it’s difficult to gauge exactly how to react when the next career-wrecking event comes along. When Jones got pulled off the UFC 200 card in the days leading up to the fight, people were upset, and unhappy. Some were even shocked – this being Jones’ first failed drug test for PEDs – but few were amazed that Jones had found yet another way to derail himself.

When ‘Bones’ had a second drug test failure announced – following his victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 – the result was more a potential damage stock-taking than anything. How long would he be out this time? What happens if his B-sample comes back negative? Is Daniel Cormier champion again?

And if Jones’ B-sample does come up positive and he does end up riding the pine for the next few years, it’s worth asking: how long might he have been using? That’s the question being put to Ovince St. Preux. The top ranked light heavyweight fought Jones in 2016 – just before his USADA trouble started. And even if he’s not terribly hung up on the whole thing, he wouldn’t mind knowing if Jones was on something illegal for their bout as well.

“I mean, of course,” OSP told Submission radio when asked if he thinks about whether Jones was on PEDs for their bout. “I did an article a while back saying, I just wanted him to tell the truth. But at the end of the day, with me, I just wanted to know. But at the end of the day, what can I do about it? It’s a situation where I’ve learned, especially like my fight when I fought Volkan. You know, I walked in the locker room and I caught myself screaming, and I was like, ‘Why am I mad for?’ I did everything I did, I poured my heart out in the fight. I trained hard, I felt like I won the fight. Like I said, I out-landed him by over 50 punches.

“But at the end of the day, after that I looked at my trainer, I was like, ‘I’m back in the gym Monday, we need to find a fight, it’s on to the next one.’ By then, my mindset was already onto the next one. And at the end of the day, when anything happens, everything comes out to light eventually. You can’t hold onto the same thing over and over again, everything always comes out to light.”

And while he wouldn’t mind knowing one way or another, OSP doesn’t sound certain that finding out whether Jones was clean or not would provide any real answers for the loss.

“Maybe, maybe not,” OSP said when asked if knowing would give him a ‘sense of closure.’ “Cause at the end of the day it’s like, can I dwell on it? Yeah. But if I was dwelling on it, I’m holding onto the past and there’s no reason for me to do that. So my mindset is always going to be to be like, I’m here in the present, concentrate on present. Cause whatever is gonna put me in the present, however I perceive myself right now, then the future’s gonna be that much better. I can’t perceive myself the way I did in the past and whatnot, especially me getting down on myself. And that’s another form of mental skills training where that comes in the head. I gotta end up elevating my mind a lot more.”

Which helps explain, perhaps, why OSP wouldn’t necessarily be against taking another fight against Jones. Especially since, as he puts it, USADA will likely “keep more eyes” on the light heavyweight GOAT even if his B-sample turns up clean.

“Not necessarily,” OSP responded when asked if he’d be concerned about fighting Jones again, “because at the end of the day, as much scrutiny as he’s been under, especially these past two years and what not, I would say he’s walking a tightrope. And even if the results come back negative, he’s still gonna have that bubble of people that’s gonna be like, ‘We still don’t like you,’ or, ‘We still think you’re this bad guy.’ But at the end of the day, even if it comes back negative, you know how much scrutiny he’s gonna be or how many eyes are gonna be on him? Do you know how much times USADA might pop up at his house?

“It’s one of those things where, okay, it came positive – if something comes back positive and they do sample B and it comes back negative, they’re gonna actually keep more eyes on you just for the simple fact that it’s one of those things where, ‘We need to figure out how this happened, because this was just positive, now it’s negative. Something went wrong there.’ So they’re gonna dial in him a lot more anyway. But if it comes back positive, I mean shoot, he’s gone for the next two to three years.”

In the meantime, St. Preux is preparing for a September 23rd bout against Mauricio Rua in Saitama, Japan. The fight will be a rematch of their 2014 contest, which OSP won by KO just 34 seconds into round one. OSP vs. Rua is expected to headline the card, which will also feature a women’s strawweight bout between Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade in the co-main event.

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