Jon Jones has moved on, is focused on UFC 235 title fight —VIDEO

Updated March 2, 2019 - 7:49 am

It has been an oddly quiet fight week for an event featuring UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

No change of venue at the last minute, no over-the-top trash talking and few references from his opponent to his transgressions outside the cage.

Even the abnormal results of a drug test released Thursday were quickly explained and put to rest.

There’s just not much drama as Jones prepares to defend the belt against Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

“I just feel like it’s another day at the office,” Jones said. “I’m just back at work. This is what I do.”

Jones last fought Dec. 29 against Alexander Gustafsson in Los Angeles, making this his fastest turnaround since first winning the title in 2011. His past few years have been plagued by disciplinary and performance-enhancing drug-related suspensions, limiting him to one fight per calendar year since 2014.

The December fight was moved from Las Vegas on less than a week’s notice when Jones’ drug tests showed irregularities and the Nevada Athletic Commission said it didn’t have time to vet the results.

“This week is night and day,” Jones said. “I’m not starting out with half the audience mad at me. I’ve got a great opponent, and we’ve been respectful of each other, so that’s refreshing.”

The 31-year-old might be the best ever in his profession, but his immense talent and unparalleled resume inside the cage often is overshadowed by the trouble outside it.

Jones insists he’s in a good place now, largely through accepting his past.

“I embrace it now,” he said. “It’s the only story I know. If I don’t embrace it, nobody can. I always try to smile and reflect my best energy because I owe it to myself. It’s been a process to get to that point, just learning to accept yourself and realizing that at the end of the day everyone has piece of (expletive) qualities. A lot of people just know about mine.”

Jones said his biggest regrets are the drunken-driving incidents. The father of three daughters added that he now has a personal driver for his nights on the town.

He also said there’s time to change the narrative of his career.

“The majority of my career has been a really big success,” he said. “I try not to dwell on the things that have gone bad. I get that side is more entertaining to talk about, but when you really think about a small-town kid from Rochester, New York, now to be here where I’m at today, I’d say I’ve done the majority of things right.”

The past is still hard to shake, especially when the remnants of it keep reappearing. Jones still is dealing with what scientists have testified to as pulsing effects of an illegal substance that he was suspended for more than a year ago.

He is regularly tested by five agencies, and several recent tests again have shown long-term metabolites of Turinabol, including two conducted last month that surfaced Thursday.

“All of us are of the opinion that while it’s not great that every time Jon fights an issue like this comes up, based on the amount of testing he’s had over the last two months, these low-level positives are the best evidence we’ve seen of what these experts are telling us,” UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said.

Jones said he feels obligated to his fans.

“I feel like my fans, the few I have left, have been so loyal and so supportive and loving,” he said. “I want them to be able to just get back out there and let them wear their T-shirts again with pride and be able to say, ‘This is why I supported him through the bad times.’ I just want to make it up to them.”

Contact Adam Hill at or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
UFC donates $240,000 to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
UFC presents Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada with $240,000 donation and promises to grant more wishes as the partnership goes forward.
Benavidez on his new contract, future of the UFC flyweight division
UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who is booked to fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN Plus, discusses his role as an alternate for the title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, his new 4-fight contract and the future of the 125-pound division.
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Home Front Page Footer Listing