Jon Jones: Chael Sonnen 'almost gained exception' for fighters who test positive

USA TODAY Sports

Count Jon Jones among those who tuned in to UFC Tonight on June 11, when Chael Sonnen announced his retirement and mixed martial arts and explained his reasoning on why he failed a Nevada Athletic Commission drug test.

The UFC light heavyweight champion's take on the situation might surprise you.

"I watched him on UFC Tonight," Jones said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I thought he handled it very responsibly. I really admired him being vulnerable and telling the world about the situation with his wife and things like that."

Jones has a complicated history with his former challenger. The two had a healthy dislike for one another when UFC 151 was cancelled in the wake of Jones' refusal to fight a fill-in Sonnen on short notice.

Then Jones came around on Sonnen after the two coached against one another on The Ultimate Fighter, getting a glimpse of how Sonnen operates when the cameras are off. It was enough for Jones to give Sonnen a pass for testing positive for two banned substances in the aftermath of Nevada banning testosterone replacement therapy.

"I've been very vocal about not respecting steroid users and guys who cheat," Jones said. "But Chael almost gained an exception with the way he handled it and the way he was so honest and upfront with the fans and all the fighters about the whole situation.

"It was never good for the sport to see something like this," Jones continued. "But in a way, it was a win for Chael because he got some things off his chest and just be real about everybody."

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