UFC Champion Jon Jones Enters Rehab

By McCarton Ackerman 01/07/15

The ultimate fighter tested positive for traces of cocaine prior to his eighth title defense last weekend in Las Vegas.


In a shocking turn of events, it was announced yesterday that reigning UFC champion Jon Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine, in a random drug test administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Dec. 4. Benzoylecgonine is not banned out-of-competition under the World Anti-Doping agency code, which the commission follows, as a result, they were unable to penalize or prevent him from fighting. Jones also reportedly passed a follow-up test later that month, but the UFC champion acknowledged his problem in a prepared statement through his attorney:

"With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made,” read the statement. “I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy." However, it still remains unclear what substance abuse issues specifically Jones will be addressing in treatment.

The UFC released a separate statement claiming they were “disappointed in the failed test, [but] we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence.” Nevada commission chairman Francisco Aguilar said he was “pleased that Mr. Jones is addressing this issue and seeking help for his problem.”

Aguilar also confirmed that the commission will discuss out-of-competition drug tests at its next meeting. Jones' admission arrived hot on the heels of UFC President Dana White's announcement to end in-house drug testing. White said the UFC will now give money to state athletic commissions who can then fund and oversee additional testing.

“What we’ll do is we’ll help fund it so they can do better drug testing, more drug testing. They can handle it. They’re the regulators,” he said. “We have no business doing drug testing. We fucked it up, and we will fuck it up again. That’s what the commission is there to do.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.