ByElias Cepeda, writer at Creators.co
Elias Cepeda

Embattled former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones sat down with Joe Rogan Thursday in Southern California (video below) in one of the most in-depth interviews of his career. The all-time great MMA fighter is currently under a drug suspension from the UFC and its hired drug-testers USADA, and coming up on a submission grappling match against Dan Henderson.

Before that, Jones had years of scandal, including a felony hit-and-run car accident where he fled the scene after hitting a car with a pregnant woman in it. Jones has also tested positive for cocaine during a fight camp and been involved in other vehicular accidents.

In the aftermath of his hit-and-run accident, however, Jones tells Rogan,

Jones described himself as out of control and a “party boy” at that time. In fact, “Bones” revealed that he had a self-destructive pre-fight routine that he only recently gave up.

“I had this crazy thing I would do where I would party one week before my fight, and it was something I did throughout my whole career,” he told Rogan.

“It was stupid, but it was this mental crutch I had…One week before every fight I would go and get blacked-out wasted. My logic was that if this guy were to beat me, somehow, I could look in the mirror and say that I lost because I’d gotten hammered the week before the fight…It was a safety net."

Jones beat St-Preux last April by decision. It was his first fight in over a year.

Jones went on to tell Rogan that he will fight in the UFC, again, this coming July. Until then, he will continue to focus on his personal life.

The public nature of so many of his transgressions has turned Jones inward, he says. He claimed to not be as active on social media as he used to.

Jones is tired of people rightly telling him that he needs to get his life together, even telling a story of a stranger telling him so as he threw out his garbage. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me I need to get me sh-t together,” he admitted.

Jones insists that he’s focused on important things, these days. "I seriously have been working on my personal life, tremendously,” he continued.

"I feel better today than I did when I was beating everyone's ass…Not worrying about social media has brought a lot of peace to me."

Jon Jones said he has had time to focus on who he is outside of his career. In fact, he detailed that he’d never have to work another day in his life, again, if he chose not to, because of the money he’s already made.

Jones now concentrates on daily “basic stuff,” like taking his daughters to cheerleading practice and fixing the house. Those things and the love of his true friends makes him feel complete, now.

“Just being Jonathan Jones and having my group of friends across the country genuinely love me. Focusing on my kids every day…being on top of stuff. I have no debts, everything’s caught up, everything’s spot-on…everything is so put together in my life outside of sports.”

Jones went on to say that he now has a “clear mind,” which is “something I haven’t had in a long time. I just feel real good right now.”

Jones takes comfort in knowing he doesn’t need to fight ever again to make ends meet. However, he will fight on, because he wants to end his public story on his own terms.

“Being in the position where I don’t need to fight again financially,” comforts him, he revealed.

Still, though, “I have to fight because the story can’t end like this."