Jon Jones (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

UFC Champion Jon Jones Needs to Grow Up, Not Rehab

Poker machines (slot machines, for those of you in the United States) sing their melodic tunes throughout the crowded pub. Cheers ring out as schooners of beer are poured one after another. It’s a typical busy evening in one of the most popular nightspots in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

A group of twentysomethings sit in the gaming room sipping beers and vodkas. They’re waiting until the time is right. Just steps away is the handicap toilet. It’s cleaner than the regular toilets and it has more than enough room to fit two or three people.

Security makes the rounds on this night, and they are a lot more present than usual. Sitting there on the stool, a pair from the group look at each other. The guy gives a subtle nod and a quick dash into the handicap toilet ensues.


The door is locked and their hearts are racing. The guy reaches into his pocket and reveals the baggy of white powder. A five-dollar note is rolled up and a thin white line is carefully made on the sink. Seconds later, it’s gone. The pair exits, leaving the door open for their co-conspirators. One after the other, in pairs, the group continues this cycle. You may not like it. You may think it’s a disgusting thing to picture. However, the truth is, this is how some people party.

It doesn’t take long for someone to spot something on one of the security monitors. A night of harmless fun that isn’t really hurting anybody is about to get ugly. A security guard who looks like some kind of muscle-bound comic book character walks over as the group chats quietly. They know they are caught, and he knows it too. Police could have been called, charges could have been filed and lives truly could have been ruined. Without any concrete proof, though, a stern warning and an ejection from the pub follow. For some of the group, a lesson was learned. It was time to grow up.

While this scene is far from the lavish confines where UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is likely to enjoy his partying, it does share a common theme with the current predicament in which Jones finds himself. It’s not a problem with substance abuse. Instead, it is the problem of being an idiot.

In the case of some in that group of youngsters, it took just one brush with trouble for that scene to never be replicated again. The “party animal” lifestyle of Jones has allegedly been a known fact of the mixed martial arts community for sometime, albeit fighters and media who were privy to this information have only made themselves known after the fact. If this was the case, and if Jones had an actual substance-abuse problem and people knew about it, why would these people keep their mouths shut? Why would there be no intervention?

Because it’s bullshit, that’s why.

Substance abuse has serious ramifications on a person’s life. Partying, on the other hand, is just part of growing up. At 27 years old, Jones is far from a kid. But being young and having a load of money also means that he is far more likely to use it to live it up. There is nothing wrong with partying, and nobody truly has the right to judge Jones for his use of illicit drugs — nobody in this world is truly a saint, as much as they claim to be. What people do have the right to do, though, is to call something for what it is. Jones’s stint in rehab was a publicity stunt. The UFC saw a problem and needed a quick fix for its marquee fighter.

Being in rehab for a reported 24 hours means one of two things: either Jones has a serious problem and is in denial, or his hand was forced because his partying antics needed to be put under control. In his recent interview with Fox Sports, Jones detailed the treatment process, where he was told by the facility that he did not need to be there. It was something that we all knew anyway. In the interview, he also admitted he had made a mistake. Once again, though, it seemed as though his hand was forced. Jones got caught. He admitted it. He seemed sincere in his apology, too, but the facts still stand: if he wasn’t caught, how many more times would he party before it all came out?

Jones was fined a measly $25,000 for his violation of the UFC’s code of conduct, and then, not even 48 hours later, it appeared that his departure with that small portion of his fortune had seemingly done nothing to change his wild ways.

A tweet from rapper Mike Stud dug up by Twitter user @bthAJ depicted Jones succumbing to his addiction to stupidity again. The tweet, which was later deleted, seemed to suggest that Jones was still continuing with his partying ways, fresh out of his rehab stint. There is no way to confirm whether Jones had “raged” with Stud, but the question remains, would you be surprised?

Young and stupid. That’s all there is to it. If the alleged instance of partying took place, it’s a telltale sign that Jones just doesn’t give a shit and no matter how much he is sanctioned, he will still more than likely continue on as the life of the party.

Whirlwind rehab stint aside, it’s clear that Jones does in fact have an addiction. It’s not drugs that he’s addicted to. Instead, he’s addicted to being young and making stupid decisions.

There is a rehab program that Jones can enter. It’s called growing up, and if the UFC light heavyweight champ doesn’t enter it soon, he could find himself in a three-strikes-and-you’re-out situation. There is no doubt that Jones is one of the very best fighters to enter the Octagon, but it’s just a matter of time until his legacy as a fighter becomes so tainted from his out-of-competition indiscretions and nobody will care anymore. A story of being the best fighter in the world could quickly become a story of a career that ended far too soon.