It has been a bumpy few weeks for UFC champion Jon Jones: who tested positively for cocaine metabolites in his Dec. 4 pre-fight drug test. This test was done for his Jan. 3 UFC 182 fight against Daniel Cormier, which he won, extending his successful title defenses to eight straight. Immediately following the release of the information, Jones checked himself into rehab, where he reportedly only stayed for one day, which was the source of much criticism.

In his first post-rehab interview, Bones Jones talked to Fox Sports 1 about the incident, rehab and his future. As for the actual night in question, the UFC fighter does not back down with excuses, in fact he embraces this incident as a stepping stone.

“I definitely don’t have an excuse. I’m not here to make excuses for what happened. I did it, basically at a party. I think a coward would sit here and try to come up with this elaborate reason or to try to blame something, and I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to blame friends or blame pressure or stress. I’m not going to blame anything. But what I will say is that, I messed up. It wasn’t a mistake. I can’t call it a mistake necessarily, because I consciously did it.”

He wanted to stress he is not an addict – he just made a poor choice during the night in question. “For me, it was just a really embarrassing situation. I had to explain to so many people that I’m not a cocaine addict by any means. I’m not even a frequent user,” he said. “I just made a really dumb decision, just really got caught with my pants down on this whole situation.”

As for the his short stint in rehab, the fighter claimed he spent countless hours with professionals, who after intensive interviews determined he did not have a problem. “The counselor came to me at the [out-patient] house and he set me down and he said, ‘Jon, I really believe that you made a big mistake and that you don’t need to live here with us full time, but what I will do is continue to drug test you and to come by your house twice a week, or however often.'”

In the end, Jones received a slap on the wrist from UFC, as he is arguably one of their most marketable fighters. He received a $25,000 fine, which is chump change considering the $500,000 purse from the Cormier fight. At the same time, Jones claims his attorneys are looking into the NAC over what went public and why he was tested for recreational drugs in December — according to MMA Fighting, cocaine is not a banned substance when out of competition. However, the positive test is still a violation of the UFC’s Code of Conduct, which is why the small fine was tagged on.

Either way, he still considers this incident a huge embarrassment for him: but he maintains his innocence when it comes to PEDs, which many people have been speculating about after his testosterone test became public and his numbers looked low.

“The athletic commission did some tests that tested for street drugs and testosterone levels. And they tested me and Daniel, and supposedly both of our levels came back a little bit lower than what is standard. Every man has different levels of testosterone. A lot of people wrote articles that, possibly, we were steroid guys… I have never take performance-enhancing drugs. Ever.”

This is an incident that has forever changed the champ’s life, as his dirty laundry is being aired for everyone to see. But like he said, the only way he could move is forward. “The best ways I can come back from this, really, is to continue being a winner, and to not let things like this happen again. And just to learn. It’s not a defeat if you learn something.”

He next faces the winner of Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, which will air on UFC on FOX 14’s.

 

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