MMA Fighter, Jon Jones: “I don’t drink alcohol.”
Mixed martial artist and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones, was recently arrested for allegedly drinking and driving in Binghamton, New York.
Officials say the 24-year old was behind the wheel of his 2012 Bentley which crashed into a telephone pole early Saturday morning.
As some of you may know, I blogged about this fighter two years ago after seeing him fight live in Las Vegas at UFC100.
My disappointment in Jones stems from a recent interview I conducted with the fighter last month for WNYC Radio. Although the April 18th interview lasted 15 minutes, the station only used a couple of 10-second sound bytes related to the sport of MMA.
But here’s what Jones said towards the end of the phoner:
“To be a fighter you have to have a supreme confidence and a reassurance of who you are as a man and just who you are in self. And I have that now because of mixed martial arts. So it’s really given me goals and it’s taught me so much about life. So that’s how I maintain my close relationship to Christ. And being an elite-level fighter, I realize that in some ways, Christ would be proud of me for the man that I’ve become: I’ve taken care of my body, I don’t drink alcohol. In fitness, I think God wants that for all of us: goal-setting and being an achiever, it’s things that He wants for all of us.”
When Jones stated during the phoner that he didn’t drink alcohol, I thought — ‘wow, this guy truly has a ton of self-discipline!’ But fast-forward a month later, after hearing reports of a DWI charge, I’ve experienced a quick glimpse into his character.
Perhaps this incident for Jones was needed. Negative incidents force many of us to take inventory of what’s going on in our life and how it affects others, namely a relative or a fan. These moments help validate those people in our lives who are genuinely authentic versus those who simply just provide lip-service. Perhaps it took that telephone pole to deliver the best strike to an elite fighter with so much skill and a tremendous amount of promise. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured or killed.
Everything that happens to us happens for us.
Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call for Jones. If nothing else, I’m hoping this ordeal builds a mentally-stronger, more authentic Jon Jones than ever before.
Role models are certainly human; but humans are not invincible. I still applaud Jones’ spirit as a fighter — that spirit will remain invincible. But there is another fight that he, alone, has to confront: the battle within himself.
Jones has defended his championship belt three times. His next scheduled bout for the UFC is in September. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on DWI charges and expected to enter a plea next Tuesday in a Binghamton City Court.