UFC president Dana White has never been one to pull any punches when talking about the fighters he promotes.
So when it comes to Jon Jones and the impact his multiple failed drug tests and outside-the-cage transgressions have had on both his legacy and UFC's current financial state, White doesn't hide his disappointment when speaking about the former light heavyweight champion.
In fact, White said Tuesday he believes Jones to be the biggest waste of talent in the history of sports.
"Ever, in all of sports," White told the TSN MMA Show during a media appearance in Toronto. "The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he'd be doing right now if he hadn't ever gotten in trouble. He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn't be broken. The list goes on and on of what could have been with Jon Jones."
Jones (22-1), who many consider to be the greatest fighter in mixed martial arts history, returned to the Octagon in July fresh off a one-year USADA suspension for a pair of failed drug tests the previous year. But the feel-good story of Jones regaining his UFC title by knocking out Daniel Cormier in their anticipated UFC 214 rematch was short lived.
One month later, it was revealed Jones had tested positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol. The fight was ruled a no contest and Jones was stripped of a UFC title for the third time.
Jones, 30, who has maintained his innocence throughout, is planning to appeal. He could face as much as a four-year suspension.
Asked whether he hopes, for the sake of business, that Jones gets a much shorter punishment, White insisted that he has moved on from caring about Jones.
"Whatever happens, happens," White said. "Believe me, I'm not mentally or emotionally invested in that anymore."
White and Jones have had a strained relationship in recent years. In July, White revealed he hadn't spoken to the fighter once during his one-year suspension that dated back to UFC 200.
Jones tested positive for cocaine and was fined after his UFC 182 victory over Cormier during their first meeting in 2015. Four months later, Jones became the first UFC fighter to be stripped of a title due to disciplinary reasons when he was arrested on a felony hit and run charge.