Former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has finally been handed a decision from USADA for a doping violation he was flagged for in July 2017. In an announcement on Wednesday, USADA gave Jones a 15-month suspension for his second anti-doping violation.
Jones is eligible to return to competition in late October just in time for UFC 230, which currently has no main event set for the fight card.
Upon hearing USADA’s decision, Jones took to social media to respond to the outcome:
“It’s difficult to express myself at this moment, but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation.I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will. But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now.”
Jones, who claimed he didn’t knowingly take any banned substances, and passed several out-of-competition drug tests leading up to his failed in-competition test a day before UFC 214, could have faced a 4-year suspension for the violation.
Jones also failed a doping test back in 2016, testing positive for two anti-estrogen agents. Jones claimed the result was due to a sexual enhancement pill. That result forced the cancellation of his headline bout against Cormier at UFC 200 and gave him a one-year suspension.
Jones (22-1-1 MMA) has never been beaten inside the octagon and is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world.