Larger than life talents often have personalities to match. As one UFC fighter awaits a sentencing from USADA following a second anti-doping violation, UFC president Dana White is not shy about voicing his frustrations.
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Jon Jones once again found himself on the wrong end of controversy following his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. The fight, which marked Jones’ return to the championship scene following a slew of personal issues, seemed to spell the end of the troubled fighter’s run of problems.
But a positive drug test from an in-competition sample the day of the weigh-ins brought back the all-too-familiar disappointment that Jones’ fans and supporters have encountered previously. Now with the fighter’s B-sample confirming the results, the question remains what type of punishment USADA will hand down.
Given that Jones has already served a one-year suspension for a previous violation, his latest blunder could cost him four years on the sidelines. This would almost inevitably lead to the division, the promotion, and perhaps even the sport passing the highly talented fighter by.
There’s no denying that Jones has etched out a memorable, though controversial, legacy in the sport of MMA. Aside from a controversial disqualification loss to Matt Hammill, he remains undefeated in the octagon. His most recent victory over Cormier was changed to a no-contest following the test results, and he was stripped of the title he’d just regained.
Jones’ talents and size meant he could’ve found success across multiple divisions. After defeating Cormier in their rematch, Jones even called out former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. White noted that a potential super-fight with current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic was also a possibility before the test results came back positive.
White noted that Jones could’ve set many landmarks within the sport. “He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken. The list goes on and on of what could have been with Jon Jones.”
Jones has victories over some of the sport’s greatest fighters. Daniel Cormier, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Mauricio Rua are a few of the former champions Jones has crushed on his rise to the top. Given that he’s only 30, the young talent could’ve added many more names to that list with a consistent fighting schedule.
There’s no guarantee about what his suspension will be following the latest violation. Some have hoped for leniency, especially if it can be proven the violation was committed accidentally. UFC officials have worked to set the record straight on the matter, dispelling rumors and reasserting that the decision lies in the hands of USADA at this point.
Jones has found himself in trouble both inside and outside the octagon. In addition to a pair of failed drug tests, he’s also been in trouble with the law over a hit-and-run incident that injured a pregnant woman. Details about the upcoming USADA hearing have yet to be released.
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