There’s no doubt that Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters of all time, if not ever. But just like many others, Dana White is wondering what all the various scandals and issues that have been tied to Jones, has cost his legacy.
If you’re a big time fan of MMA, then you know that since 2013, Jones has only fought three times. “Bones” was sidelined for nearly all of 2015 as a result of his highly publicized, hit-and-run incident. That scandal cost him the 205 title, and then, more recently, Jones was flagged by USADA for an anti-doping violation. As a result, the 29 year-old won’t be eligible to fight again until next July at the earliest.
Well, recently White appeared on The Dan LeBatard Show , and the UFC boss man was asked about Jones. While discussing what the fighter’s recent issues have cost him, White said this (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“It’s got to be…who knows,” White said. “I mean, if he moved up to heavyweight and fought for the heavyweight championship, it could have been massive. It could be anywhere from $15-20 million.”
“I think so, yeah,” White added, when asked if Jones not fighting for the heavyweight title was the biggest setback. “I think because everybody looks at Jon Jones as the guy who was probably the best ever to do it. And the potential that he had. Who knows what fights we missed or what could have been because of all this madness.”
Since Jones will be just 30 when he’s eligible to fight again, there’s no doubt the ridiculously talented fighter has time to build on his legacy. But, it remains to be seen if this time away effects his performance, and whether he can reclaim the light-heavyweight title or move to heavyweight. If he doesn’t, then there’s no question he’ll always be followed by a ‘what could have been’ narrative.