Whatever excuse Jon Jones may have for his latest USADA violation, Chael Sonnen definitely won’t be buying it.
Sonnen has long been suspicious of Jones making use of banned substances (including being one of the main proponents of a story about the 30-year-old UFC light heavyweight having allegedly once hid under a cage for eight hours to avoid a drug test) and with Jones being flagged by the USADA for a second time on Aug. 22, he’s ready to go all in on his accusations.
The two fought at UFC 159 back in 2013, with Jones winning via first-round TKO, and Sonnen told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour that he wouldn’t be surprised if Jones has always been cutting corners based on the fact that Sonnen was beaten so easily despite using performance enhancing drugs himself.
“All I can tell you is I had a higher juice concentrate than Tropicana and he pushed me around like Mack truck vs. a Volvo, so I think for the better part of his career, that seems to be how it works,” Sonnen said. “I know for me, I know exactly the day I started taking banned substances, but I would never deny it. I’ve been competing since I was nine years old and if somebody wanted to go, ‘His whole career is in question,’ it’s like yeah… If you did a dishonest act, sometimes the most honest thing you can do is just say, ‘Yeah, you got me.’”
Sonnen went on to say that he could easily distinguish who among his peers are using banned substances and the substances in question, but that there is an “honor among thieves” that prevents him from doing so until a fighter is officially flagged.
What he isn’t so sure about is whether Jones will receive the maximum penalty of four years, but he didn’t like his chances given the fact that “Bones” doesn’t appear to have too many friends at the moment. Jones infamously butted heads with UFC president Dana White prior to his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, claiming that White “abandoned” him during his recent one-year drug suspension.
“In a time like this you could really use some friends,” Sonnen said. “I don’t think the words that he used (criticizing) the president Dana White before his last fight are going to help him very much in this situation.
“If there’s anything that Jon likes to do besides banned substances, it’s burn bridges. I don’t understand why he does that, but it’s a time right now that he could use some friends and I don’t know that he’s got ‘em.”
Beyond just a suspension, Sonnen wondered if Jones could face even more severe consequences. Jones’s second flagged test is for Turinabol, a drug that first came to prominence among German athletes almost 50 years ago. Sonnen said that Turinabol is not just banned, but illegal, and Jones could be facing the prospect of jail time if these allegations are true.
“I can tell you - and I don’t know what Jon did, I’m speculating off of what I’ve done - if they catch something like that, they missed the good stuff,” Sonnen said. “So yeah he’s got to deal with this, there’s no contaminated something or anything, (Turinabol) is pretty hard to get and it’s pretty expensive if you do get it. The problem with this one is it’s an illegal drug. People always get confused on a banned substance vs. an illegal (substance); an illegal means if you’re caught with it they will put you in handcuffs.”
Jones’s team is currently maintaining that his failed test could be the result of a tainted supplement, an argument they used after his first USADA violation in an attempt to get a reduced punishment.