If you stayed away from social media and the omnipresent internet last night, then you’re waking up to a still shaking, MMA world.
Yes, late on Wednesday, the UFC announced that Jon Jones will no longer fight Daniel Cormier on Saturday, after being flagged for a potential, anti-doping violation. That’s right. Cormier – Jones II has been axed a couple of days before it was supposed to go down.
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.
So, obviously this is a massive blow to the UFC and fans. It remains to be seen what substance Jones allegedly tested positive for. The interim light-heavyweight champ is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday morning to discuss the situation.
There are a ton of variables at play here. Jones is currently on probation, stemming from his well documented involvement in a hit-and-run accident last year. So, that could play a factor in how things unfold here, and when Jones could fight again. Further, depending on what USADA says Jones tested positive for, he could be facing a two year suspension if no successful appeal materializes.
The 28 year-old star has fought just once since he decisioned Cormier in their first meeting, back in January, 2015. This past April, “Bones” worked his way to a UD win over Ovince Saint Preux, and secured the interim light-heavyweight title.
There’s certainly much, much more to come on this story. Wow.
UFC 200 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.