UFC president Dana White believes Jon Jones is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. He also acknowledged the former light-heavyweight champion's problems that knocked him off course.
Appearing on the MMA Roasted podcast, via MMANews.com's Damon Martin, White had this to say about Jones' talent and wasted potential:
“The whole Jon Jones thing drives me crazy. Honestly, Jon Jones—the greatest of all time, the greatest to ever do it—and the thing that’s really frustrating, imagine if this guy tried. Imagine if he tried even a little bit. How incredibly amazing this guy could have been.
“He could have been the biggest star ever. God knows what he would have finished accomplishing in light-heavyweight and then in the heavyweight division, maybe he would have had a title defense [record] at heavyweight that would never been broken. The endorsements, everything that that guy could have been is unbelievable.”
Jones had a meteoric rise in mixed martial arts upon making his debut in 2008. The only loss of his career came via disqualification due to illegal elbow strikes in 2009 against Matt Hamill.
UFC 128 was Jones' crowning achievement, when he knocked out Mauricio Rua to win the light heavyweight title. The 30-year-old has only fought three times since 2015 due to legal issues, including fleeing the scene of a hit and run when he ran a red light and crashed into a car driven by a pregnant woman.
Jones had his fighting license revoked by the California State Athletic Commission in February after he was flagged for a potential doping violation after defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 214.