It’s tough to argue against the fact that Jon Jones may be the greatest fighter to ever compete in mixed martial arts while simultaneously doing more to sabotage his own career than anybody in the history of sports.
Jones is currently sitting on a provisional suspension after testing positive for steroids following his knockout against Daniel Cormier that was supposed to put him back on top of the world. That win was later overturned and now Jones faced a possible four-year suspension as a result.
That fight came after Jones was suspended for a year following a positive drug test for a banned substance ahead of his previously scheduled bout against Cormier in 2016. Add to that, Jones has missed valuable time in the prime of his career thanks to disastrous out of the cage actions including a hit-and-run accident that could have ended with him spending significant time in jail.
Jones has apologized profusely in the past for his wrongdoing but UFC color commentator Joe Rogan wonders if there might not be more at work than just a laundry list of bad decisions being made by the former light heavyweight champion.
“There’s a symptom of something else going on. People don’t like to discuss this but one of the things that it easily could be is that Jon has impulse control [issues] because he’s been sparring and fighting at the highest level of the sport for many, many years now and he’s gotten hit in the head a gang of times. There’s no way around it,” Rogan said on his podcast.
“There was an article I posted on Twitter that came up a couple of days ago, these neuroscientists were examining brain injury and violent behavior and like how they’re connected. How damage to certain areas of the brain has irreparable consequences on the decision making ability of the person who gets hit.”
The article by Tim Wallace examines a study from the National Academy of Sciences that showed how brain trauma could possibly lead to violent criminal behavior. One of the factors from that study was the impairment of “value based decision making”, which is likely what Rogan was referencing when chatting about Jones.
Of course, brain damage in sports is always a hot button subject, especially with fighters who have died in the ring or cage as a result of concussive blows not to mention the athletes who are suffering from long-term effects of brain injuries including former football players who eventually filed a lawsuit against the NFL.
Obviously, Rogan was just explaining one possible theory that could explain why Jones continues to make such mind boggling decisions in both his personal and professional life that continuously chip away at his legacy in the sport.
One thing Rogan can’t deny is that Jones has forever harmed how he’ll be viewed once his career is over no matter what the outcome of his latest drug testing scandal will be.
“The Jon Jones’ one is very unfortunate. Cause Jon is just one of the most talented guys of all time if not the most talented guy of all time and also the biggest disaster in terms of the biggest mistakes that he’s made,” Rogan said. “We’ve never had a fighter that did a hit and run on a pregnant and broke her arm and then took off and then tests positive for drugs cause he’s on dick pills and then tests positive again after his comeback, after a spectacular win over Daniel Cormier.
“He’s disappointing in that regard. So exceptional in his physical abilities but the choices he makes and the decisions that come out of those choices are just f–king terrible.”