Jon Jones is an interesting character.
At one timed dubbed the greatest talent ever seen in mixed martial arts, Jones has found himself a polarising figure. Instead of being judged on his athletic abilities, the former light heavyweight king has been repeatedly the ‘victim’ of self-sabotage, frequently finding himself in trouble.
At one point, the issues he faced offered a stark contrast to his in-ring skills, but a contrast serving to illuminate just how good he was — and could be. The question became: if he was able to defeat the best fighters in the world without taking the whole game seriously, then imagine how he could be if he managed to rid himself of the negatives.
For example, how good could be if he didn’t get completely drunk the weekend before each of his fights.
“I had this crazy thing that I would do where I would party one week before every fight,” Jones said, speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience. “And I did it throughout my whole career. And it was stupid, but it was this mental crutch that I had.”
The ‘crutch’ as Jones described it, essentially supplied what he considered an excuse where should he have lost, he would have something to blame.
“I literally would, one week before every fight,” Jones said. “I would go out and I would get blacked out wasted. And my logic was, if this guy were to beat me somehow, I can look myself in the mirror and say, the reason I lost is because I got hammered the week before the fight.”
A highly shared story in MMA circles is that prior to his (now legendary) bout with Alexander Gustafsson back in 2013, Jones wasn’t taking his opponent seriously, and had spent more time partying than training.
“I trained for the fight, but I definitely had this thing where I felt invincible,” he said. “And I did a lot of wild stuff leading up to the fight. I definitely didn’t give it my all. Really partying, drinking, staying up all night.”
Although Jones stated he now felt he was in a position to be able to drink moderately, such as a glass of wine alongside dinner, prior to his infamous car accident it was not something he was in much control of.
“My relationship with alcohol was never healthy, and I never went through a period in which I had a mature, healthy, responsible relationship with it.”