Jones was pulled from the UFC 200 main event opposite Cormier three days prior to fight time. At that time, he and the UFC were notified by the United States Anti-Doping Agency that Jones was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation.
Jones and his camp held a hastily pulled together press conference, denying any intentional wrongdoing, but declined to discuss any specifics of the potential violation. The Nevada Athletic Commission later identified two prohibited substances that Jones tested positive for in his June 16 out-of-competition drug screen as hydroxy-clomiphene (an anti-estrogenic agent) and letrozole metabolite (an aromatase inhibitor).
Although it’s very rare that a fighter avoids punishment after a positive drug test, it appears that Jones may not face a lengthy suspension, at least not according to White, who is already talking about booking him in a fight.
“(Jones) has got 13 lives. It’s looking good for him,” White said on a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered. “I think he’s got a deal with Nevada right now in this thing that went down. We’ll see how this thing plays out, but it’s looking good for him.”
A deal doesn’t necessarily mean that Jones could immediately return to the Octagon, but White’s take on the situation certainly sounds promising for the interim light heavyweight champion.
Jones’ good fortune could prove costly for Johnson, however, who thought he would be challenging UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in his next fight after knocking out Glover Teixeira in 13 seconds at Saturday’s UFC 202 in Las Vegas.
Johnson wants to fight Cormier next. Cormier said he is done with Jones until he pulls himself together, and said that he intended on facing the winner of Johnson vs. Teixeira in his next defense of the belt. White, however, is kicking around another idea.
“I’m in a weird place,” White said. “I’ve still got to talk to (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and see what he thinks, but I’m thinking maybe we do Anthony Johnson vs. Jon Jones to see who gets to fight Daniel Cormier.”
That would obviously mean that Jones would have to face minimal to no suspension once his drug testing case plays out before the Nevada Athletic Commission and USADA, which oversees the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. White is privy to more information than the general public, so it would seem that he thinks a Jones deal could bring him back soon enough to make a fight with Johnson plausible.
And, regardless of the trouble that Jones frequently finds himself in, White wants him back in the Octagon.
“People can think whatever they want about Jon Jones, he’s one of the greatest ever to participate in this sport. The guy is so (expletive) talented, but he does not stop getting in trouble. It’s so sad to see because the fights that this guy could be in, the records that this guy could break, if he can just get his (expletive) together.”
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