“Yeah, he’s definitely one of the guy’s who could have gone down as one of the greatest ever,” White said on the Dan LeBatard show. “If you look at all the time he’s been out, he probably would have defended the title a few times. He might be fighting at heavyweight right now, who knows, but, hey man…when you do what this guy has done, you’ve got to pay the price."
Here's a quick bullet point of the fall of Jon Jones:
- December 2014 - Jones tested positive for cocaine.
- April 2015 - Jones is involved in a hit-and-run accident and is suspended by the UFC and stripped of his light heavyweight title, removed from bout with Anthony Johnson. Daniel Cormier fills in and wins light heavyweight title.
- April 2016 - Jones returns to the Octagon, defeats Ovince St. Preux to be awarded the interim light heavyweight title.
- July 2016 - Just two days shy of facing Cormier to unify the light heavyweight title he is pulled from the bout due to a failed #USADA test and suspended pending investigation.
- November 2016 - Jones receives one year suspension by USADA and is stripped of his interim light heavyweight title for the second time.
Ok, now that we are up to speed on all of the Jones shenanigans...
It's no wonder that White is upset and disappointed as Jones has the potential to bring in millions in revenue to the UFC and his removal from what the UFC was hoping would be a blockbuster card, in fact was the tipping point for a card that flopped in many fans eyes.
“We’ve lost a lot of money, left a lot of money on the table," White said. "Who knows (how much money he lost). If he moved up to heavyweight and fought for the heavyweight championship, it could have been massive. It could be anywhere from $15 to $20 million."
By the time Jones is eligible to fight again (July 2017) he will be nearing 30 years old and will have had over two years of suspension time. He is also yet to be punished by the Nevada Athletic Commission, who could increase his suspension to another year.
"Jon Jones has blown it in every way shape and form a guy with that much talent can blow it," White said. "Greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever."