Jon Jones admits he's not completely sober heading into UFC 232

As Jon Jones prepares for his latest comeback with his fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in December, how he got to this point is one of the stories gripping the MMA world.

Arguably the most talented fighter in MMA history, Jones has participated in just two fights in the last three years and none since July 2017, a title win over Daniel Cormier that was later stripped away due to a positive turinabol test. Multiple performance-enhancing drug suspensions and a constant struggle with alcohol and drugs have laid waste to the fighter’s reputation and legacy.

Now 31 years old and finally allowed back in the octagon after a lengthy PED suspension, Jones spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and revealed that he isn’t currently sober, but does believe he is in control of his addictions.

Jon Jones discusses his sobriety

A partial transcript of the interview:

Would it be fair to call you sober now?

No. No, I still drink. Smoke pot too every once in a while.

Are you at a good place?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m at a very healthy place. Well, I mean, I don’t know, who knows?

Did you tell your coaches?

My coaches know I drink. I’m done trying to hide being–

A lot?

Not like a crazy, crazy amount. Some weekends, mainly on the weekends.

Do you want to be sober?

It’s something that I was striving for, especially going to rehab this summer. I was striving for complete sobriety. I’m not ready for it. It’s not who I was and not who I am in my life and my career.

That’s an interesting and surprisingly forward response from Jones. It is frequently heard from athletes and celebrities struggling with addiction that they have gone completely sober; much rarer is the one who admits he/she still occasionally partakes.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 03: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones speaks to the media during the UFC 182 post fight press conference inside the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 03: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones speaks to the media during the UFC 182 post fight press conference inside the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 03: Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones waits in a time-out as he defends his title against Daniel Cormier during the UFC 182 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones retained his title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 03: (L-R) Jon 'Bones' Jones kicks Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 182 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 03: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones speaks to the media during the UFC 182 post fight press conference inside the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 03: (L-R) Daniel Cormier takes down Jon Jones in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 182 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 31: Jon Jones talks to the media during the UFC 182 Open Workouts at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on December 31, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 01: (L-R) UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier face off during the UFC 182 Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on January 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - DECEMBER 16: Jon 'Bones' Jones works out for the media during a UFC media workout at Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness on December 16, 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Wilson Fox/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones nudges his head against Daniel Cormier while they face off during the UFC Time Is Now press conference at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on November 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6 included actress Chloë Grace Moretz ('If I Stay'), Jon 'Bones' Jones (UFC light heavyweight championship on Sept. 27) and musical guest The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JON 'BONES' JONES, JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6 included actress Chloë Grace Moretz ('If I Stay'), Jon 'Bones' Jones (UFC light heavyweight championship on Sept. 27) and musical guest The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JON 'BONES' JONES, JIMMY KIMMEL
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUG 4: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones holds his championship belt for the fans during the UFC 178 Ultimate Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on August 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUG 4: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones signs autographs for UFC fans gathered in the hotel lobby during the UFC 178 Ultimate Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on August 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: (R-L) Jon 'Bones' Jones elbows Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 172 event at the Baltimore Arena on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: Jon 'Bones' Jones reacts after defeating Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 172 event at the Baltimore Arena on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: (R-L) Jon 'Bones' Jones kicks Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 172 event at the Baltimore Arena on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: Jon 'Bones' Jones reacts after defeating Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 172 event at the Baltimore Arena on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: Jon Jones warms up before his bout against Glover Teixeira during the UFC 172 event at the Baltimore Arena on April 26, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Are Jon Jones’ comments worrying?

Jones indicated he was sober two years ago, but something could have possibly changed since then. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that; addiction can be a major struggle with steps forward and back. However, the fighter’s comments are also something that Dana White and company probably don’t want to hear.

Hopefully, Jones is still in full control, and, ignoring his track record, there are few reasons to believe he isn’t now. The MMA world is in a much better place when he’s in the octagon and not appearing before the State Athletic Commissions for various infractions.

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