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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones’ latest arrest: ‘You’ve got to get it right’

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Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Last week, just a few hours after his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame, Jon Jones was arrested on charges of domestic violence and tampering with a vehicle and as details emerged about the incident, they paint a disturbing picture. Jones was arrested after police responded to a disturbance call at Caesar’s Palace, where Jones allegedly got “a little bit” physical with his fiancée, Jessie Moses, who was found with blood on her face and clothes.

In response to the incident, UFC President Dana White said that “it’s not even shocking anymore” and suggested that the city of Las Vegas is a trigger for Jones, However, Jones’ most famous rival, former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, believes that to be a cop out for Jones.

“Dana has said multiple times, ‘We can’t get him into Vegas, not even for 12 hours,’ but what has been proven time and time again is that the trouble seems to follow Jones,” Cormier said on ESPN. “Because he’s gotten in trouble in Albuquerque, he’s gotten in trouble in New York. He’s gotten in trouble but this time it seems very serious.”

This is far from the first time that Jones has had legal trouble. In 2012, Jones was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence after wrapping his Bentley around a pole in New York. In 2015, Jones was arrested and pleaded guilty to charges of a hit-and-run after crashing into a woman in Albuquerque and the fleeing the scene on foot. In 2019, Jones was charged with battery and pleaded no contest to an incident in Albuquerque where he allegedly assaulted a waitress at a strip club. And last year, Jones was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated charge, again in Albuquerque. It’s a history of bad incidents which Cormier believes has continued in part because Jones has never had to reckon with himself because he’s so good at fighting.

“I said some things back in 2017 before we fought the second time,” Cormier said. “I spoke to mistakes and how when you make mistakes, they change you. Jones obviously doesn’t learn from the mistakes. But I also take a bit of responsibility because I think in a lot of situations, you learn when you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and I said on the Countdown show before the fight, the way Jon Jones makes changes is by losing to me. I didn’t beat him. Chael Sonnen didn’t beat him. So many people didn’t beat him. We never forced him to look in the mirror and reevaluate his behaviors outside, because all the bad behavior still led to success. So why change it? It’s unfortunate.

“I remember when I saw Jones and his family on the red carpet for the Hall of Fame, I’m so removed from that rivalry that I actually felt happy for him because his little girls aren’t babies anymore. They’re growing up to be beautiful young women and it looked like he had his family with him and he was going to be celebrating, and then he goes out and does something like that to remind me why I felt so strong about disliking him. Because you start hearing these things and it’s awful. It’s actually really awful, and as the details come to light, it’s actually going to be much more terrifying to think of the emotions that are tied to this whole thing.”

Despite Jones’ numerous run-ins with the law, the former light heavyweight champion has faced relatively few consequences for his actions. He has been placed on probation several times and for the 2020 DWI incident he was sentenced to four days house arrest, but he has thus far managed to avoid actual jail time. And on the competitive side of things, the UFC has been reticent to intervene, stripping him of his light heavyweight title following the hit-and-run incident but reinstating him to the UFC’s roster just six months later, and as Cormier notes, the UFC could be doing more here.

“We have a Code of Conduct. We actually have a Code of Conduct in the UFC. It’s a matter of enforcing it, and even at the height of our rivalry - when we sat in front of Joe Rogan, and we yelled, and went back and forth, and we called each other names, and got very personal in regards to our relationship, our spouses, everything - I said I don’t want nothing life-threatening to happen to Jon Jones, regardless of what I feel about him professionally and personally. I never found pride and I still don’t find joy in the fact that he is not able to get over whatever demons he is dealing with in this moment and he’s dealt with for so long. But there is a Code of Conduct! It’s about finding and sticking to that Code of Conduct.”

For his part, Jones has once again issued a statement promising to do better and suggesting that alcohol was to blame for the incident. Following his arrest last year for the DWI charge, Jones also suggested that he has “an unhealthy relationship” with alcohol and for Cormier, simply put, you can’t just say you’re going to do better. Jones needs to actually do better. Not just for himself, but for his family.

“I think the biggest issue is his rap sheet,” Cormier said. “There’s been so many different things that have happened, but when you look at Jon Jones the fighter, he’s great. I’ve never been in there with anyone more talented. He’s so smart, he can game plan, he can do things in a way that nobody else can, but it seems like outside there is just no control. He comes from a great family.... It’s on him to get better.

“I think Dana said something so smart and so telling the other day. when he said, he’s not even disappointed anymore, it becomes the expectation. When bad behavior becomes the expectation, that should be the biggest wake-up call for you to get it together, because there’s no more disappointment. You’ve got to get it right. So if there’s a message from me, I take no pride in Jones being where he is today, and he’s in the stuff right now. What I say to that man is just get it right. You’ve got to find a way to just try to get it right, because it ain’t even about the fight career right now. He’s obviously made a ton of money. It’s about getting life right so you can be the role model you need to be for those three young girls that he has.”


TOP STORIES

Results. Ihor Potieria scores UFC contract with brutal first-round KO at Contender Series.

Disturbing. Jon Jones’ police report reveals disturbing details surrounding arrest, fiancée found with blood on face and clothes.

Excuses. Jon Jones breaks silence following domestic violence arrest: ‘I will leave alcohol in my past forever’.

Response. Jake Paul responds to Tyron Woodley getting ‘I love Jake Paul’ tattoo following pre-fight bet.

Title. Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen set for interim bantamweight title fight at UFC 267.

Classy. Dana White erupts on ‘lying, two-faced, hypocritical sack of sh*t’ Oscar De La Hoya in explosive escalation of fighter pay feud.

Relocation. Dan Hooker defends Israel Adesanya, City Kickboxing possibly moving from New Zealand to United States.


VIDEO STEW

Contender Series announcements.

Behind the scenes with Jon Anik at International Fight Week.

Best finishes from Douglas Lima and Michael Page.

Cowboy Cerrone gets a call about his next fight while out playing on his four-wheeler.


LISTEN UP

Fighter vs. Writer. Joseph Benavidez discusses his retirement, UFC 266, and Nick Diaz.

UFC Unfiltered. Recapping UFC 266 with Merab Dvalishvili.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Brian Ortega.

Reaction from Israel Adesanya.

Tyron Woodley still trying.

Aljamain Sterling’s reaction to the interim title fight.

Conor McGregor.

Shut down.

10 rounds?! Damn, Luque, you really are a mad man.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sijara Eubanks (7-6) vs. Luana Carolina (7-2); UFC Vegas 40, Oct. 16.

Petr Yan (15-2) vs. Cory Sandhagen (14-3); UFC 267, Oct. 30.

Lerone Murphy (10-0-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (16-6); UFC 267, Oct. 30.

Manel Kape (16-6) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-5); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 4.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Brian Ortega’s team did not do him any favors sending him back out there with a fractured orbital. One day, hopefully, corners in MMA will actually start protecting their fighters.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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