In a shocking announcement current UFC interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been pulled from his scheduled bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. Jones has been flagged for a potential anti-doping violation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). UFC 200 is set to take place this Saturday and now the highly anticipated fight card will have to undergo yet another shuffle.
The USADA notified the UFC of Jones’ violation on Wednesday. The results are from a drug test that he took back on June 16th. The UFC released an official announcement on the situation with Jones which can be read below:
The UFC organization was notified tonight that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 16, 2016.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
However, because Jones was scheduled to compete against Daniel Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Las Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout and therefore the fight has been removed from the fight card. As a result, the three-round heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will become the UFC 200 main event.
Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Ticket refunds available upon request at primary point of purchase.
A heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will now serve as the main event and as of this writing there has yet to be an announcement on whether or not light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will remain on the card. With only three days before the event it may be unlikely the UFC will find an opponent in time.
The potential violation is the latest in the saga that has become Jon Jones. In 2015 Jones tested positive for cocaine prior to his UFC 182 bout against Daniel Cormier but since cocaine was not on the banned list he suffered no punishment. A few months later Jones would be involved in a hit-and-run accident in which a pregnant woman was injured. Jones was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident in which he cause and in which a persons was injured. Police found marijuana in J0nes’ vehicle and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely by the UFC. Jones was issued 18 months of probation for the accident and was reinstated by the UFC shortly thereafter.
Jones now faces a possible two-year suspension but can request to have his “B” sample tested in hopes of clearing up the allegations but that will take time and not matter what he will not compete on Saturday’s event.
As for UFC president Dana White? He comments on the situation and his reaction line up perfectly with the feelings of MMA fans everywhere, “Everything is going so smooth,’ and nobody had been hurt. Everyone was healthy. So this was a pretty brutal phone call.”