The MMA world has been rocked today by the news that Jon Jones has been removed from UFC 200 after he was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation by USADA.
A such, just days before what’s been billed as the biggest event in UFC history, the historic show’s headliner between Jones and Daniel Cormier has been scrapped, with a three-round fight between Brock Lesnar Vs Mark Hunt now set as the main event of the evening.
Meanwhile, the UFC are rushing to try to get the devastated light-heavyweight champion Cormier a new opponent, though at this late stage that’s likely to be a tall order.
As for Jones, at this stage it’s not known what he’s tested positive for, but it was believed to be an out-of-competition test administered on the 16th of June.
Jones is set to make a statement on Thursday morning, but it’s hard to imagine anything he’ll say will make things any better at this stage.
While it’s a crushing disappointment that Cormier Vs Jones II won’t headline UFC 200, the bigger picture here is even more depressing, as essentially we’re witnessing the self-destruction of potentially the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.
At 28 years old, Jones should be in his prime right now and cementing his place as a legend of the sport, but instead he wasted much of the last 18 months dealing with the consequences of his out-of-control lifestyle, and he’s now potentially facing another least two years on the sidelines.
What a mess!
Read the UFC’s full statement on Jones anti-doping violation below.
“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.”