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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
MMA Junkie Staff

Dana White says Jon Jones has turned corner in personal life, becoming top draw

It’s safe to say Dana White is happy with Jon Jones’ most recent form.

The UFC president likes the results Jones (25-1 MMA, 19-1 UFC) has produced in the octagon, and he’s starting to like how Jones has conducted himself outside the cage, too. White says the UFC light heavyweight champion is a top draw for the company, putting him up there with Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz and other major stars.

“Of course he is (a drawing card), we just broke the record at the Toyota Center for this fight, so yeah, Jones is as star,” White told MMA Junkie in a recent interview.

“We did $3.2 million (at the gate), still a couple of hundred tickets to move and we’re opening up some productions kills right now, so it will be well over $3.2 million. And yeah, we’ll have the record.”

Jones is scheduled to headline UFC 247 on Saturday night, defending his light heavyweight title against unbeaten Dominick Reyes.

It’s obvious when McGregor or Diaz are on a fight card there is some type of buzz that comes with it. White believes Jones has a similar effect, but just draws his own unique audience.

“What happens with these different fighters and these different guys, they bring out different groups of people,” White said. “A completely different group of people show up to see Jon Jones fight on TV or live. Same thing for Conor, same thing for Nate Diaz, and the list goes on and on, it’s always a different group of people.”

Apart from Jones growing into a top draw for the company, the same thing can be said in his personal life. Not so long ago Jones dominated the headlines with troubles in his personal life as well as in anti-doping. That doesn’t seem to be the case today.

White believes Jones has turned a corner in that aspect of his life.

“The truth is that – and you’ve seen it in every sport – too rich, too famous, too young, and when that happens to you, there are consequences to it,” White said. “There’s a good side and a bad side. Some people can deal the it, some can’t, but then you eventually get to a point that you hopefully get yourself under control and you start to take it seriously and get you shit together.

“Usually, by the time you do that, it’s too late and your (athletic) window has closed and it’s over. But that’s not the case for Jon Jones.”

UFC 247 takes place Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+





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