Quinton Jackson believes Jon Jones deserves a chance at redemption, but that doesn’t mean he is thrilled to hear about the imminent UFC return of “Bones.”
While “Rampage’s” own UFC future remains in doubt due to ongoing legal issues with Bellator MMA, he had some very distinct thoughts about his former foe being reinstated to the Las Vegas-based promotion earlier this week.
The ex-light heavyweight king recently avoided jail time for allegedly fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, N.M., in April. By striking a plea agreement, Jones received probation and thus far has fulfilled the terms of that deal, which allowed the Las Vegas-promotion to reinstate him.
“I hope he comes back. I hope he learns from his mistake... But I’m not saying it because I’m a fan of Jon Jones because honestly I think that Jon Jones is bad for the sport. Because when he fights people, he injures us,” Jackson said during an appearance on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” on Friday. “He kicked my knee backwards; my knee is never the same. He’s done it to a couple other guys. I saw him rip one guy’s shoulder out his socket. We just try to the same thing he’s trying to do, earn a living and do the sport that we love.”
Jones made his first 205-pound title defense against Jackson at UFC 135 in September 2011. He submitted “Rampage” with a rear-naked choke 1:14 into round four, but it was Jones’ repeated push kicks to his opponent’s knee, also known as the oblique kick, that Jackson claims permanently altered his health.
“We don’t go in there to try and injure people, even though I tried to fold an opponent in half, but he made me angry, it was something that he did to me…. But this guy’s doing it to every opponent,” Jackson said. “He’s kicking their knees backwards and really trying to hurt people. So I think that’s bad for the sport.”
Before to the hit-and-run incident, Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites prior to his UFC 182 triumph over Daniel Cormier. The results didn’t become public until after the bout, however, and Jones briefly checked himself into rehab before promptly checking out some 24 hours later. Those issues are not nearly as concerning to “Rampage” as Jones’ tactics in the Octagon.
“For Jon Jones to be doing all the stuff that he was doing and still be one of the best fighters in the world, that says something about him. I can’t talk much about it because I don’t judge people,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve never done in my life. There’s a lot of drugs that I’ve never done in my life. I’ve only done one drug in my whole life when I was a kid and that was marijuana. It’s an herb and I really don’t consider it a drug, but some people do. I don’t condone it and I don’t do it anymore.
“The drug that he was doing I’ve heard a lot of bad things about it. People overdose. This kid was fighting and it was in his system three days before the fight.”