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MMA Squared: Forgive Jon Jones

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When the cage door closes on Saturday night at UFC 232 and Jon Jones finally has his rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, for a brief moment we will collectively forgive the greatest and most fallible champion the sport has known.

Welcome to MMA Squared! This Saturday when the cage door closes and the main event begins, we as consumers of MMA will collectively (for some, temporarily) forgive Jon Jones’ past transgressions for the opportunity to watch the greatest fighter ply his trade again.

For a chance to confirm whether the last fight really was a competitive fluke, and that Jones should have run through Alexander Gustafsson, here are the things we will chose to momentarily forget.

For demolishing a Bentley while partying with two women who were certainly not his baby momma, we will forgive Jon Jones.

For being a “sport killer” and tanking UFC 151, we will let bygones be bygones. Let’s face it, that incident prolonged Hendo’s career and was more the UFC’s fault. #oversaturation

For committing a hit-and-run on a pregnant woman and then fleeing the scene of the crime... OK, “forgive” is a bit strong. How about we’re willing to suspend our disbelief for the duration of the Gus rematch?

For “getting hacked” and posting homophobic comments on a Swedish kid’s instagram posts, we will roll our eyes and really try to forget this one.

For killing the momentum and joy of UFC 200 which no one remembers even though it had beautiful performances by Amanda Nunes, TJ Dillashaw, Cain Velasquez, and Jose Aldo, we... (damn this one hurts) forgive you.

For that bragging that you beat Daniel Cormier “...after a weekend of cocaine,” we’re gonna just say “millionaire boys will be millionaire boys.”

I love this pose from Scarface and will use this joke 10 more times on a half dozen more fighers before I die.

For botching 2017’s Fight of the Year by failing a drug test after finishing Daniel Cormier... Jesus Chris Jon, this list is friggin’ long— I mean, the past is in the past.

And finally, for the ‘pinch of salt in a pool’ debacle that is pinching an entire event up from Vegas to LA, I say on behalf of everyone who will watch UFC 232... I am damned excited to see Jon Jones fight again.

Thanks for your time. As always MMA Squared is brought to you by COMBAT WOMBAT, an expression of marsupial violence known, somewhere. Take care of yourself and I’ll be back tomorrow with the Friday Caption Contest. Chris.

PS here’s a bonus pic of all the panels together. Thanks to everyone at bloodyelbow.com and the community here. It’s been a great year drawing and writing for you.