Editor’s Note: The opinions and ideas provided in this article do not reflect those of Salute Magazine or any of their other writers.
The UFC has seen Jon “Bones” Jones rise to fame, become the face of the UFC and near rock bottom in the past couple of years, and it is a sad sight to see considering how talented the fighter is. UFC 200 was set to have Jones face Daniel Cormier for the second time in their respective careers, but a flagged USADA drug test has forced the removal of Jones from the event and should leave his future in mixed martial arts in doubt.
The UFC released an official statement on Wednesday surrounding the news that Jones had failed his drug test:
“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.”
Sometimes athletes with the most talent take it for granted and waste said talent through immature actions that cost them time, money and, in this case, titles. Sure, fans feel bad for Jones, but perhaps Cormier should be the one that the world should show favor to, all while showing their ire for Jones and his lack of self control.
Watching the UFC’s press conference of the announcement that Jones was being pulled from UFC 200 (above), it was painfully obvious that Cormier is taking this harder than anyone, and he wasn’t the one that potentially tested positive for a banned substance.
“I had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach,” Cormier said at a press conference Wednesday night. “To hear something like this is very sad from a competitive and financial standpoint. I don’t know exactly to explain how I’m feeling right now.”
“I’m just very disappointed,” he continued. “I’ve worked really hard to prepare for this. You take care of what you can take care of and that’s what I did. More than anything, I’m really disappointed.”
“This chapter in my life had been dragging me and it’s made me ugly,” he said. “I have to move forward and start to clear my mind in regards to him,” via SB Nation’s Bloody Elbow.
Cormier sounds defeated during the press conference, and Jones’ actions seem to be taking a toll on more than just himself, which leaves the UFC at a crossroads regarding Jones’ future in MMA. If the “B” sample tests positive as well, Jones faces a possible two-year suspension from the sport, and rightfully so.
Jones has been apologetic and claims to have never taken an illegal substance, but fans hear that from athletes all the time–and it is getting old. But, he also looked devastated at the news of an alleged failed test.
“They found something in one of my samples that I have no clue what it is,” Jones said. “I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I’ve been taking the same supplements the majority of my career. I’ve been so outspoken about being against any type of performance enhancers. To this day, I’m extremely against performance enhancers.
“The whole thing sucks. Being labeled as someone who would cheat hurts more than anything else I’ve ever been through in my career.”
“My management team is very aware that everything needs to be documented leading up to a fight,” Jones said. “I just know in my heart I would never take anything that would enhance me in any way, so I didn’t feel the need to jot down anything. I didn’t really think this could ever happen,” via ESPN.
Multiple futures — UFC included — hinge on how Dana White and the rest of the UFC handle this latest setback involving Jones, but it might be time to part ways with a fighter that has brought more pain and out-of-the-octagon drama than title defenses in the past few years.
In fact, Jones should be suspended for this latest incident, and needs to prove that he can overcome the challenges that he is dealing with in his personal life. If he is able to handle things accordingly and serves his suspension with no other incidents taking place, then, and only then, should he be given another chance to get back into the UFC.
Jones had the following to say about a possible suspension for his potential failed test:
“If I do have to sit out two years, I will definitely be back,” Jones said. “I’m already thinking about the good that can happen. I’m optimistic. But man, at the end of the day, I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter. Even though I may seem broken up here, I’m not broken. I’m just really upset,” via ESPN.
It is understandable that he is also upset, but Jones needs to stop screwing with other people’s lives through his actions and worry about getting his life back on track before thinking about fighting anytime soon.
Cormier is crushed, White is pissed and the UFC is losing money on a card that quite possibly could have been the biggest, most well-rounded card in UFC history.
And fans can thank Jones for making sure that they would miss out on yet another Jones-Cormier fight, which they should be used to by now.