Jon Jones, arguably the greatest fighter to ever grace the sport of mixed martial arts, has fought just once since January 2015. Impacted by several issues outside the cage, such as a felony hit and run in April 2015 or a failed drug test stemming from sexual enhancement pills in June 2016, Jones has naturally lost out on a lot of money too, says Dana White.
Pulled from UFC 200 in July for said failed drug test, Jones now faces a one-year ban from the sport that will keep him out of the cage until summer 2017.
“It’s got to be…who knows? I mean, if he moved up to heavyweight and fought for the heavyweight championship, it could have been massive. It could be anywhere from $15-20 million,” White told Dan LeBatard when asked to estimate how much Jones has lost throughout his career (via MMA Fighting).
What’s more, White says Jones’ actions have also take a toll on his legacy inside the cage as well.
“Yeah, he’s definitely one of the guys who could have gone down as one of the greatest ever,” White said. “If you look at all the time he’s been out, he probably would have defended the title a few times. He might be fighting at heavyweight right now, who knows, but, hey, man…when you do what this guy has done, you’ve got to pay the price.
“We’ve lost a lot of money, left a lot of money on the table and obviously his legacy is…I’ll tell you this, too…in the history of combat sports, nobody’s ever taken this much time off and come back and looked like they did when they were younger. Even [Muhammad] Ali. So it’s going to be interesting.”