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Editorial: Jon Jones has his priorities in the wrong place

Former UFC champion Jon Jones needs to focus on himself as a person, not as a fighter

Former UFC champion Jon Jones was arrested in September on domestic violence charges
Former UFC champion Jon Jones was arrested in September on domestic violence charges
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jon Jones wants us all to move on from his September 2021 arrest for misdemeanor battery domestic violence.

According to Jones, who seems to have put the harrowing details of the reported assault of his fiancée, Jessie Moses, behind him, “If you’re still talking about what happened in Las Vegas but you’re living at your moms house, your priorities are in the wrong place my friend. You over there focusing on another man’s troubles, I’m over here focusing on getting farther ahead of you.”

What Jones fails to see — what he does not acknowledge — is that the September arrest does not exist in a vacuum. The reported incident is one in a long list of run-ins Jon Jones has had with the legal system. A history that begins in 2008 and runs through 2021.

With that history, a history that has reportedly escalated from driving infractions to violence against those closest to him, the person with his priorities in the wrong place is Jones.

In 2015 after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and avoided jail time, Jones said, “I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it.”

Jones fell short of his promises as he had several run-ins with law enforcement after that, including a no contest plea for a disorderly conduct charge in October 2019 incident and a March 2020 DWI guilty plea before his Las Vegas arrest this year.

Jones has denied any wrongdoing in the domestic violence case.

I imagine there are some who are concerned, as Jones seems to be, about his status as an elite fighter in the UFC. I also imagine there are those who worry about Jon Jones the person and how the decisions he makes affect him as well as his family and friends. Then there are those who have watched Jones over the years and are focused, not so much with Jones, but those people who have been or might be hurt — physically and/or emotionally —by the decisions Jones has made.

And yes, the majority of Jones’ issues have been the outcome of decisions he has made.

That Jones is focused on his improvement in the cage and not his betterment as a person, says a lot about the mindset and priorities of Jon Jones. It also says that it won’t be a surprise to hear about another incident involving Jon Jones followed by more promises of reform and improvement.