Jon Jones once again finds himself under public scrutiny after his latest arrest for drunk driving in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but top-five UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith isn’t so quick to throw ‘Bones’ under the bus like so many of his fellow fighters.
‘Why?’, you ask: Smith, in his own words, was Jon Jones. Smith was in Jones’ situation many years ago when he wrecked his car and ended up in hospital after a drunk driving incident.
‘Lionheart’ had no recollection of the event but knew it was time to make a change and ditch all the self-destructive habits (excessive and booze and partying) that ultimately led to his downfall.
Smith disagrees with those claiming Jones would be better off behind bars, as the 31-year-old doesn’t believe jail-time would deter Jones from acting out in the long run.
Speaking to MMA Fighting in a recent interview Smith, who dropped a unanimous decision to Jones at UFC 235, said Jones will only change his behavior when he truly wants to change.
“It doesn’t matter what punishments you get, how much jail time you do, it doesn’t matter who leaves your side, it doesn’t matter fines you get, it doesn’t matter how many times you lose your title, it doesn’t matter how many sponsors leave you and it doesn’t matter what people say about you,” Smith said. “I promise you, Jon Jones is not going to change until he wants to change.
“Until Jon Jones is ready to stop doing the stuff that he’s doing and stop feeling that nasty feeling you get when everything comes out. He’s not upset that he got caught. He’s upset because everybody knows about it now. Until he’s done doing the things he does, he’s not going to change. I know that for a fact because I was Jon Jones.”
“I’ve done the things that Jon Jones has done,” Smith explained. “I’ve been in a drinking and driving accident when I was the driver. I’ve gotten multiple DUI’s. I’ve been in jail before. None of that stuff changed until I was ready to change. That was it. I don’t hide it. Jon is trying to hide from everything.
“Until you can be a man with your head held high and say you know what I f*cked up and I’m done being a f*ck up, nothing is going to change. You see the fans saying ‘the UFC needs to do this, the UFC needs to do that.’ It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what they do. Until he’s ready to change himself and it’s cliché, it’s every self-help book you’ve ever read your whole life, but it’s the truth. I didn’t change until I was ready to change.”
To read the rest of MMA Fighting’s interview with Smith, click here.