Who is the greatest mixed martial artist in UFC history? I think a lot of fans would put Jon Jones at the top of the list. Of all the fighters who have fought in the UFC and become a champion, he has to be the most controversial guy to do so. And technically speaking, he’s still a part of the game. Since vacating the Light Heavyweight belt in 2020, Jon “Bones” Jones has been preparing for his debut in the Heavyweight division. The word is that he will apparently either fight Stipe Miocic for the interim heavyweight title or he will just get that big title against current heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Whichever guy he fights is sure to be a great fight that will keep UFC fans entertained.
The thing is, we don’t all know if either of these fights will happen. Does he even deserve it? Maybe not, but then again, he wouldn’t be the first fighter to get an undeserved title shot. If your name is big and Dana White likes your fighting style, then you’ll have your chance. That, and if your name draws a crowd for those big pay-per-views, then it’s a fight worth fighting. For Jon Jones’ case, however, his whole history of controversy is what makes it difficult for Dana White to put things together. And given his recent arrest and the release of the footage, the future of his fighting career is certainly in question.
Personally, I want to see him fight again and I think he will. He’s spent all this time building muscle on his tall, long body, so he should probably make use of it. Whether he fights again or not, Jon Jones’ story is both inspiring and tragic. Perhaps that’s why UFC fans have paid attention to his career for so long. Since 2015, we’ve all been waiting for the next time Jon Jones gets in trouble. And guess what? He just couldn’t stop getting in trouble. Over time, us UFC fans started making jokes about it, but after his latest legal issue with a domestic assault, it’s just too much. The man is a natural talent and it’s a shame he can’t get rid of the monkey.
But you know what? His life story would make a good biopic. When I think of that, I think of certain movies like the phenomenal Bohemian Rhapsody. Now, I’m aware that it didn’t quite clear up all the facts about Freddie Mercury’s life. However, I think the message the film was trying to send was clear. Freddie Mercury had his demons and made many mistakes, but he was still just an ordinary person like everyone else. He lived his life, made many friends and foes along the way, but cemented his status as one of the most legendary musicians of all time.
I believe something similar can be done with the life and career of Jon Jones. I mean, you can just call the movie Bones and UFC fans will know what’s going on. The challenge is how much the film will cover. Personally, I think it should start from the very beginning of his life, especially his days as a college wrestler, to his title win over Shogun Rua. What made this title so inspiring was that he was 23 when he made it. This made him the youngest fighter to win UFC championship gold. Like always.
If that’s not impressive enough for you, then how about his historic title defenses that lasted nearly a decade? And yes, that includes his first suspension and losing the Light Heavyweight belt in 2015. He would eventually reclaim his throne in 2018 in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson and after that he would defend his title three more times. The thing is, he never lost his belt and technically never lost a fight in the octagon. His only loss was by disqualification against Matt Hamill, very controversial at that. It was early in Jon Jones’ career, something any budding fighter should admire.
There is no doubt that Jon Jones is a controversial figure in the sport of mixed martial arts. I think it makes for a good story to tell because there’s so much to explore. Of course, not everything is good, but who knows what will happen by the end of this year. With his more recent issues, especially his fiancée leaving him and his coach kicking him out of Jackson Wink MMA, I think this is without a doubt the lowest point in Jon Jones’ life. Maybe things can go well for him in the near future, but only time will tell. I hope he makes a comeback in the cage and in his life. It would make a great ending for this movie idea I came up with, but what happens in the middle?
I think that’s where the Jon Jones controversy started. I mean, it’s already enough to fill a separate wikipedia page, but I think a movie should focus on the most significant incidents. The first controversy is probably the most notorious: his hit and run from a pregnant woman. He fled and the next morning he surrendered to the police. This incident is what led to the UFC stripping him of his title. It would be very interesting to see his belt recovery journey. And wouldn’t you know, that’s when the controversy just kept piling up for Jon Jones.
In 2016, he won the interim light heavyweight title from Ovince Saint Preux. He was then stripped of this belt when he failed a drug test, which then postponed a rematch between him and his bitterest rival, Daniel Cormier. Jon Jones would eventually secure the title for the big belt in a rematch with DC, which he won by TKO in the third round. But guess what? He would later also be stripped of this belt, due to a failed drug test, and it was for a turinabol metabolite, an anabolic steroid. This has got to be one of the biggest controversies of Jon Jones and his career. He and his team maintained the defense that it was a tainted supplement, which may or may not be true.
But to make a biopic, the very fact that Jon Jones got the belt back, only to lose it soon after is something the movie can work with. It would work well for the midsection and seeing him make a comeback in 2018 would make for a good redemption story. However, the controversies just kept piling up after that and after his arrest footage leaked online, I’d say that tops it all off. Like I said, I hope Jon Jones recovers. I would still say he is one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, if not the greatest. His tainted legacy certainly prevented that, but you never know. He can always make a comeback. It would probably be his third comeback, but he’s made it a habit.
I would love to see Jon Jones fight again, despite all the controversy. Whether he fights again or not, I still think his life story and career is perfect for a biopic. Who would play it? Sounds like a tough cast, but what about Yahya Abdul-Mateen II? He actually looks like Jon Jones, not to mention he has the physique. There might be someone else more suited for the role, but he comes to mind when I think of casting Jon Jones.