The legendary referee and recent Bellator-signee gave his take on the ongoing controversy surrounding Jon Jones and his UFC 214 win against Daniel Cormier.
Ever since the implementation of USADA testing for the UFC’s roster, the response from both the fighters and the general public has been mixed. For some, the fact that there are stricter regulations in place has been praised as a necessary step in cleaning up the sport. For others, however, the idea that many fighters have been and will continue to be given bans from professional competition for minor and sometimes unintentional infringements has been off-putting.
It truly is a double-edged sword, but when you look at the sport now compared to how it once was, the progress that has been made in such a short time is pretty stunning.
Perhaps the most high-profile instance of controversy as far USADA’s testing is concerned has come from the hot-sample turned in by the former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who after reclaiming his title from his arch-rival Daniel Cormier, tested positive for turinabol, a banned substance.
The news came as a massive shock to us all, of course. Jones has definitely had his troubles in the past, but even for him, to self-sabotage on what should have been the proudest moment of his career seemed a bit far-fetched, all things considered.
That being said, many have simply put it down to Jon’s complete and utter recklessness outside of the octagon.
The legendary fight-ref ‘Big’ John McCarthy spoke to MMAJunkie Radio in a recent appearance and gave his own take on the ongoing saga and if we’re honest, it sounds like the most probable cause for what happened.
“When you’re an athlete making the amount of money that Jon is making, you can’t go to the AM-PM and buy something that’s in pill form and put that in your mouth without going, ‘What the **** are you doing?’ C’mon, dude.
“I say he’s the greatest MMA fighter I’ve ever seen. But this is where the problem comes forward. I don’t personally believe Jon took some type of steroid before fighting Daniel Cormier.
“I believe that Jon is taking – or allowing things that are not known or not tested – and because some other trace element is in there that makes you pop, you’re responsible for it.
“When he took the lie-detector test, I believe that Jon didn’t knowingly take a pill or take a shot or injection for that steroid, but I do believe he’s taking things, or allowing himself to ingest things that, for whatever reason, that sometimes contain these things, because he’s taking them from places that there is no quality assurance.”
Of course, with the way things are laid out these days, Jones’ mistake – if that is, in fact, what it was – will not allow him to escape punishment entirely. But, for those who were quick to jump on the former-champ after his latest mess-up, it is most certainly important to entertain both sides of the story, regardless of what you may believe yourself.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena