It would take a monumental event or bit of news to hijack Mayweather vs McGregor and in Jon Jones' latest positive PED test, we got close. We got close, although no where near close at the same time as the craziness of any new Jones drama decreases with any new piece negative Jones news; we've been through this before.
That's not to say that news of Jones being flagged by USADA didn't shake up the MMA world, it did, but this is just the latest in a rather long list of indiscretions from Jones. The goodwill bank is empty for many fans, they have seen and heard Jones preach about how he's turned a corner, only for Jones to turn a few more corners and head back up the same avenue we all want him to avoid. What more can Jones say or do?
Water needs to flow under the bridge with B-samples and all that jazz, so Jones still has some level of benefit of the doubt (not much). The timing of this though is what makes it so amazing and the fall, or elongated tumble of Jones from his throne has coincided with the rise of Conor McGregor. Here we are, pondering what went wrong with Jones just days before McGregor goes toe-to-toe with Floyd Mayweather.
There was a time, not all that long ago, when the UFC had Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey as head-haunchos. One was a supreme martial-artist who demanded attention thanks to the epic domination of quality opponents, the other broke ground, dominating her opponents and transcending beyond the MMA bubble. Jones and Rousey were the biggest names in MMA, they were effectively MMA royalty, now they are going to be watching Mayweather vs McGregor this weekend and neither appears to have a future in the UFC.
Ponder the taste left by Jones and Rousey - it's not all that sweet right? They both achieved great things, inside and outside of the octagon, however Rousey bowed out with negative vibes permeating from here. Rousey lost fights and has been unable to recover, where Rousey had inspired so many, how she conducted herself after those losses should be used as a 'How Not To Lose 101' guide and does the opposite of inspire. Jones? Well, who knows what to make of him, all I know is that he hasn't done a whole lot 'right' in the past few years.
How did McGregor take a loss to Nate Diaz? McGregor credited Diaz, took the loss on the chin, said he'd be back and by now we know that McGregor does what he says.
McGregor is a goody-too-shoes, clean, wholesome family man compared to Jones.
And McGregor is the biggest name in combat sports, now it's McGregor who transcends the MMA bubble to such an extent that HE'S FIGHTING FLOYD MAYWEATHER IN A BOXING RING THIS WEEKEND.
Now it's McGregor who demands the sponsors, it's McGregor who gets the Beats commercial:
All of this is to show how much has changed in UFC-land, in such a short time span. Given the negative taste left by the downfall of Jones and Rousey, this is incredibly exciting when you consider what McGregor stands for and how he goes about his business. McGregor has been around for a few years and the swift downfall of Rousey and Jones took place over two-three years, yet right now it feels like the UFC is genuinely moving forward into a new era.
If it's McGregor who takes the UFC forward and inspires a new wave of UFC fighters to do the opposite of Rousey and Jones, then we could be in for some super funky years ahead.