Will Jon Jones make it better for the fans at UFC 232 rematch?

Unbeaten in the Octagon, the undisputed champ, Jon Jones faces an uphill task in the court of public opinion yet again with a new controversy. Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters to ever enter the Octagon. He’s also been one of the most controversial UFC fighters due to his issues with drugs, alcohol, and PEDs, affecting his career and landed him in trouble with law.

The 31 year old former two-time UFC light heavyweight titleholder found himself in the middle of controversy again when the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided against granting a license for his upcoming main event this weekend. Jones will fight championship bout vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232. All this happened in result of a drug-testing abnormality discovered during an analysis of the past 18 months of Jones’s test results.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency stated, an “extremely low” trace of a banned substance (that Jones was previously sanctioned for) was still present in his system. He is not investigated at the moment for a violation because that doesn’t lead “performance enhancement.”

That said, the NSAC will be hearing Jones in January, where they will further deliberate his competitive eligibility in Nevada.

Since Jon Jones was denied to fight in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena where UFC 232 was originally booked, Saturday’s event will now be held at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. State commission executive officer Andy Foster told MMA Fighting that Jones has already cleared another test over the weekend and that he is “a clean athlete.”

People have criticized the decision of location change and this has renewed skepticism from fans concerning Jones’s reputation. Suspended twice for USADA violations; first in July 2016, just days before he was scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, and again in August 2017, this time after a second victory over Cormier that subsequently got overturned to a no contest. Jon Jones received a 15-month suspension for his second infraction. All this led to Jones’s untouchable legacy being tarnished in the eyes of many observers.

After this fiasco Jon Jones thinks there’s no sense in fighting it ahead of UFC 232. He said, “I think my trying to prove any type of innocence is going to be virtually impossible before the fight, because of the controversial image I have, People are kind of set in what they’re going to believe. I can’t win over many minds before the fight.”

Following the news of his latest drug-test and UFC 232 being moved from Nevada to California, Jones issued a couple of statements via social media apologizing to those disturbed by the change.

He assured fans that this was not his mistake and referred to the incident as being completely out of his control. He also promised to make up for the chaos that happened this week.

“I had to really speed up my healing on this, but I understand there are fans out there who aren’t healed and lost some serious money. I’ve almost had to bury my emotions and deal with them after the fight, but I will try to make it better for the fans after the fight.”