UFC fighter Jon Jones was stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on September 13 because he failed the prefight drug test at UFC 214.
Jones won the light heavyweight title this past July by defeating Daniel Cormier by way of third round TKO. Shortly after the fight, however, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that Jones had tested positive for the anabolic steroid, Turinabol, during a prefight urine test. The USADA would then undergo additional testing, and it was found that the B sample turned up positive for Turinabol. Jones’ victory was declared a no-contest by the California State Athletic Commission, and Cormier was reinstated as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
“…the truth is I would never do steroids, I put that on my children and I put that on my Heavenly Father,” said Jones through a tweet, his only public statement about the decisions made by the UFC and USADA.
This is Jones’ second time failing a drug test in three years, and was stripped of the Light Heavyweight title three times in those years. In 2015, Jones was handed down a one-year suspension after his arrest hit-and-run incident, and was subsequently stripped of the championship. Not only that, but Jones tested positive for cocaine after he defeated Cormier in their first fight that year. In 2016, Jones returned from suspension as the interim Light Heavyweight Championship, and was set to face Cormier at UFC 200 in a title unification fight. However, mere days before the fight, Jones tested positive for two anti-estrogen agents, which are both banned by the USADA.
Now Jones was suspended for the third time by the USADA, and is currently undergoing the appeals process. Jones and his camp deny that Jones willingly took Turinabol, and claim that the positive test was caused by a tainted supplement that Jones took. If Jones loses his appeal, he will face a mandatory four-year suspension by the USADA, which could put an end to his fighting career. By the time the suspension is over, Jones will be 34-years-old, and will likely face octagon-rust.
Jones has been the centerpiece of this whole controversy, but Cormier has been caught in the middle of this as well. All of Jones’ failed drug tests came in fights that involved Cormier. Despite Cormier’s UFC 214 defeat that was stricken from the record, his legacy has taken a hit. Although Cormier has won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the past, the UFC has banked on Jones taking the right road and finally live a clean life. However, Jones has let down not just the UFC for the past three years, but Cormier as well.
“”The people around me, my friends, they tell me that nothing has changed because if he was not fighting completely clean, then there was no fight,” Cormier said in an interview with ESPN. “But I was there. I fought. In my mind, I lost a competition, but if it was an unfair competition — I shouldn’t have been in it.”
Now Cormier will lead the Light Heavyweight division for the near future, but Jones’ UFC career is left in doubt. Jones had all the talent in the world, especially since he had almost a foot reach advantage over his opponents throughout his career. However, mixed martial arts fans will not be thinking about his talent in the octagon. Instead, they will only remember the numerous failed drug tests and the many opportunities that he let slip through his fingertips due to questionable decisions he has made in the past three years.
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