Two things are bound to happen this weekend in relation to UFC 268. The marquee bout on Saturday night’s main card at Madison Square Garden is likely to deliver a fight-of-the-year candidate, and Jon Jones will of course tweet about the whole thing from his sofa. On Saturday night, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (19-1) will step into the Octagon for his fifth title defence, and probably defeat a resurgent Colby “Chaos” Covington (16-2) in a repeat of their barnburner from December 2019. Victory is likely to lend credence to the claim of “The Nigerian Nightmare” as the welterweight “GOAT” (greatest of all time), and he will cement himself atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. And then we’ll get an earful from Jones’ Twitter account, let out a sigh of apathy, and wonder how we got to this point in regards to arguably the sport’s greatest of all-time, regardless of division. Like most MMA fans, I’ve long been a supporter of Jon Jones (26-1, one no contest), given he’s always appeared to be no more than a good guy with “some demons”, as UFC president Dana White put it after the former light heavyweight champion’s latest arrest . He’s charming, smart, well spoken and genuinely within natural likeability territory. His allure lay in the fact that, on the surface, his respect for the sport was only succeeded by his absolutely unparalleled knack for producing beautiful violence in the Octagon. Gaethje takes shot at Covington in heated UFC 268 presser After bursting onto the scene to become the youngest UFC champion in history aged 23, Jones would always be a poster boy for the UFC – right up until the point when what he did outside the Octagon began to outweigh what he did inside it. That moment has long passed. Now 34, the days of his mystique and awe-inspiring skills are long gone. The glory has left for sunnier pastures , and Jones has been relegated to shouting on social media to stay relevant. The slide started arguably even before his lacklustre and suspect win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February of 2020, when “Bones” looked lethargic but was able to sneak out a lucky victory on the judges’ scorecards. He then vacated the light heavyweight belt in August of that year, using Twitter (of course) to announce he was moving up to heavyweight, and leaving fans salivating at the prospect of him fighting the biggest and most badass men on the planet. Then Jones took his contract dispute with the UFC and its president Dana White public (again, on Twitter), only for them to call his bluff and walk away, moving on to a new era with Francis Ngannou dethroning Stipe Miocic. And we’re now possibly further away than ever before when it comes to seeing Jones fight again, after he added another item to a laundry list of discretionary behaviour in September, this time getting charged with battery domestic violence just hours after his induction to the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame fight wing for his first battle with Sweden‘s Alexander Gustafsson. White hit the nail on the head in describing the whole ordeal, with a sense of bewilderment and unabashed detachment. “It’s not even shocking any more,” he said . Neither was it shocking to see Jones tweeting up a storm from his couch in Albuquerque, New Mexico as UFC 267 played out in Abu Dhabi last weekend. Jones probably has bigger things to worry about, given he was kicked out of the Jackson Wink gym by long-term coach Mike Winkeljohn for his own good, to try and force Jones to confront his troubles. nope, been sharpening my sword waiting for a worthy opponent. Just make sure you rent the pay-per-view when the time comes https://t.co/OWHz5ZdC8N — BONY (@JonnyBones) October 31, 2021 But nope, there he was, jumping at the chance to take a shot at Jan Blachowicz, who relinquished the light heavyweight title Jones walked away from to a 42-year-old Glover Teixeira. “See what happens when you’re talking s***, not focusing on the opponent right in front of you. Another one bites the dust,” Jones wrote. “New rule, don’t call me out until you defend your belt at least twice,” he added. “I’m getting sick of this s***. Everybody talking about what they’re going to do, can’t even beat the other contenders.” One wonders how Jones will try to insert himself back into the limelight in the aftermath of UFC 268, but you can bet on him trying even though there are no light heavyweight or heavyweight bouts on either the preliminary or main card. Once revered as an MMA god, Jones dominated a division for a solid decade, dispatching fighter after fighter in convincing, spectacular fashion – Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier and even Teixeira all fell to him. So if this is the final sad epilogue of what was an illustrious career, no one really wins, and we are all robbed of what could have been a thrilling, compelling swan song for “Bones” in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Sadly, not all careers have storybook endings; not every fighter gets to walk off into the sunset, and this one seems to be fizzling out in 280 character spouts.