Jon Jones was once again arrested, and this time it was just a few hours after his induction in the UFC Hall-of-Fame. As more details and information have come to light about his domestic violence charge, it actually paints a very disturbing picture of the former champion and how he treats his family.
His former rival and now analyst for ESPN in Daniel Cormier has reacted to the news. The former two-division champion brought up his somewhat prophetic statements from 2017, and wondered how things would’ve changed had Jones actually lost in the Octagon.
5 years ago Daniel Cormier explained why Jon Jones will never change pic.twitter.com/3L7WybFzdK— Ted Buddy (@TedBuddy8) September 24, 2021
“I said some things back in 2017 before we fought the second time,” Cormier said on ESPN (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I spoke to mistakes and how when you make mistakes, they change you. Jones obviously doesn’t learn from the mistakes. But I also take a bit of responsibility because I think in a lot of situations, you learn when you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and I said on the Countdown show before the fight, the way Jon Jones makes changes is by losing to me. I didn’t beat him. Chael Sonnen didn’t beat him. So many people didn’t beat him. We never forced him to look in the mirror and reevaluate his behaviors outside, because all the bad behavior still led to success. So why change it? It’s unfortunate.”
Cormier then spoke about the “really awful” details that emerged, and suggested that the UFC’s Code of Conduct get enforced.
“I remember when I saw Jones and his family on the red carpet for the Hall of Fame. I’m so removed from that rivalry that I actually felt happy for him because his little girls aren’t babies anymore,” Cormier said. “They’re growing up to be beautiful young women and it looked like he had his family with him and he was going to be celebrating, and then he goes out and does something like that to remind me why I felt so strong about disliking him. Because you start hearing these things and it’s awful. It’s actually really awful, and as the details come to light, it’s actually going to be much more terrifying to think of the emotions that are tied to this whole thing.
“We have a Code of Conduct. We actually have a Code of Conduct in the UFC. It’s a matter of enforcing it, and even at the height of our rivalry - when we sat in front of Joe Rogan, and we yelled, and went back and forth, and we called each other names, and got very personal in regards to our relationship, our spouses, everything - I said I don’t want nothing life-threatening to happen to Jon Jones, regardless of what I feel about him professionally and personally. I never found pride and I still don’t find joy in the fact that he is not able to get over whatever demons he is dealing with in this moment and he’s dealt with for so long. But there is a Code of Conduct! It’s about finding and sticking to that Code of Conduct,” Cormier said.
“It’s on him to get better. I think Dana said something so smart and so telling the other day. when he said, he’s not even disappointed anymore, it becomes the expectation. When bad behavior becomes the expectation, that should be the biggest wake-up call for you to get it together, because there’s no more disappointment. You’ve got to get it right.
“So if there’s a message from me, I take no pride in Jones being where he is today, and he’s in the stuff right now. What I say to that man is just get it right. You’ve got to find a way to just try to get it right, because it ain’t even about the fight career right now. He’s obviously made a ton of money. It’s about getting life right so you can be the role model you need to be for those three young girls that he has.”
The UFC implemented a code of conduct several years ago to try and “push guys in the right direction.” Jon Jones was actually one of the very few to be punished by it six years ago when his title was stripped due to his hit-and-run conviction. There were also a couple of others who have previously been disciplined for tasteless comments concerning transphobia and rape.
That hasn’t been enforced much in recent years though, with several fighters’ behavior being similar or far worse all being tolerated or simply dismissed by Dana White as par for the course when you have “700 lunatics” under contract.
As for Jones’ case specifically, the UFC President already reacted to the new details of his domestic violence charge, with White simply saying that “sh-t” happens every day because it’s the “fight business”