In a revealing interview on the Joe Rogan Experience this morning, former UFC Heavyweight champ Jon Jones — who was suspended from the UFC, stripped of his title and is still on probation following a hit-and-run car accident in 2015 — said that he used to rely on heavy alcohol abuse a week prior to big fights to help cope with a potential loss.
Here's what Jones told Rogan, per MMA Fighting:
"I had this crazy thing that I would do where I would party one week before every fight," Jones told the UFC color commentator. "And I did it throughout my whole career. And it was stupid, but it was this mental crutch that I had."
The way Jones rationalized it, if he lost a fight, his night of partying gave him built-in excuse.
"I literally would, one week before every fight," Jones said. "I would go out and I would get blacked out wasted. And my logic was, if this guy were to beat me somehow, I can look myself in the mirror and say, the reason I lost is because I got hammered the week before the fight."
Sadly, alcohol is often used as a crutch for people, but it's rare to hear a pro athlete talk about his need for it while at the peak of his career as Jon Jones was during this time.
Jones continued, too, talking about how he was at peak partying mode about a week before his UFC 165 title defense fight against Alexander Gustafsson.
"I trained for the fight, but I definitely had this thing where I felt invincible," Jones said. "And I did a lot of wild stuff leading up to the fight. I definitely didn't give it my all. Really partying, drinking, staying up all night."
Pretty scary stuff, but it sounds like Jones has learned from his past experiences, as he's taken responsibility for some of his past actions and even told Rogan that "went through a period in which I had a mature, healthy, responsible relationship with it," when referring to drinking.
Not eligible to fight until next July following a year-long suspension for a drug violation from this past November, here's to hoping Jones can stay clean and get back in the Octagon — because the guy is one of the best all-around fighters in UFC history.