01 Jan Jorge Masvidal believes fighters charged with DWI should provide ‘educational’ community service, still be allowed to fight
Jorge Masvidal has become one of the biggest stars in the sport, but he is making it clear he’s not the one to be passing judgement towards anybody who makes a bad choice.
While appearing on ESPN’s The Dan Le Batard Show on Monday, “Gamebred” was asked about light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ latest DWI arrest and whether or not a punishment should be warranted from within the promotion.
“By no means can I ever judge anybody,” Masvidal said. “I’m nowhere near perfect, but I do believe that there should be consequences, mainly because we have so much power. I didn’t notice how many 11, 12, 13 year old fans we have who come running up to me saying, ‘Hey, can we get a picture?’ And I’m like, ‘Whoa, that’s nuts. This guy’s super young. How does he know so much about the sport?’
With MMA growing in popularity, it is becoming a generational sport. Children are training in different disciplines at an early age, some with the dream of someday competing in the UFC.
When a fighter like Jones—widely considered the greatest MMA fighter of all-time—gets in trouble, it becomes national news. Masvidal believes that in a case like this, the punishment shouldn’t be about destroying the individual in trouble, but provide an opportunity for education.
“I remember back when I was young and we could be very influenced,” he said. “I don’t want kids thinking that it’s cool for them to go out and drink and drive. You can hurt yourself very bad, but you could actually do something worse and take a whole family. You could do travesties if you’re drunk behind the wheel.
“So, in those regards, there should be things handed (down). If you were caught drinking and driving, you’re gonna have to give type of service back to the community.
“There should be some type of community service back to the public for educational purposes. Let these young minds know that, ‘Hey, this is not cool. This was a mistake that I did, but under no circumstances should you do this and think you can get away with it.’”
UFC president Dana White said during UFC 249 fight week that he expects Jones to compete in the Octagon in 2020 despite his latest run-in with the law. There has been precedent set within the UFC where Jones, as a punishment, was stripped of his light heavyweight title and indefinitely suspended following a hit-and-run accident in 2015.
With this particular case, Masvidal believes that suspending Jones, or others in that situation, might be too harsh of a penalty.
“It’s all we got, man,” he said. “Yeah, you got to be allowed to fight.”