Former UFC champion Jon Jones: ‘I was a drug addict’

Embattled former UFC champion Jon Jones returns to action for the first time in over a year, this Saturday. He’ll also be fighting for the first time since admitting he had a drug addiction. 

Using perhaps the strongest and clearest language to describe his struggles with drugs and alcohol, Jones recently told USA Today, flat-out, "I was a drug-addict."

Jones still used the past-tense to describe his illness, which is noteworthy because some people believe that addiction is a lifetime thing in the sense that it must be treated and worked on, constantly, for a person’s entire life. Still, for years Jones obfuscated when denying or discussing his struggles with drugs.

Now, he is honing up a bit more to his battles. "One thing people don’t realize is that you can be a drug addict even if you are a stoner," he explained.

"If you are waking up every day and smoking, smoking before you eat, smoking before you train, smoking before you sleep, smoking before you watch a movie, smoking before your study session – you’re an addict. It doesn’t have to be a hard drug to be an addiction."

Jones tested positive for a very hard drug in cocaine before his most recent fight, last year, against Daniel Cormier. Despite using cocaine while training for the most important fight of his life, Jones still seems to be saying that his cocaine use was an isolated instance.

Jones says that marijuana was a huge problem for him, however. "It was literally what I would do in between fights," he continued.

"I was just sitting, enjoying life and thinking that I was a hippie. I didn’t feel I was hurting anyone else. I didn’t feel I was being a bad person. It became who I enjoyed being. I thought I was preserving myself from all the negatives and evil of the world. I would pop out of my fave for fights."

Jones says that he’s been living a clean, Spartan lifestyle in preparation for his comeback fight. "I will get out there and train harder than anyone, five times a day sometimes," he detailed.

"You have to be a special person to do that — like special forces, military maybe. You find a way to get to practice and do it one more time."