Jon Jones: Trouble is My Middle Name

By Brandon Cadiz

Posted on August 31, 2017 at 5:53pm PDT

Updated September 26, 2017 at 9:56 AM PDT

Photo: Sports Illustrated

Photo: Sports Illustrated

Considered to be “The Greatest of All-Time” in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), UFC fighter Jon Jones is in trouble yet again for the same offense.

The current UFC light-heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion is coming off his recent win against former champion and rival, Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. Jones reclaimed his title by knocking out Cormier in the rematch by delivering a kick to the head of Cormier and finishing him off with punches. Jones defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in their first match at UFC 182 in 2015.

Jones was stripped of the title for the first time in April of 2015 due to a hit-and-run incident. Six months later, Jones returned and secured the interim title after defeating opponent, Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. The second rematch between Jones and Cormier was originally scheduled to take place in July of 2016 at UFC 200, but Jones violated the anti-doping policy and was suspended for one year.

On August 22nd 2017, almost a month to the date of UFC 214, President Dana White of the UFC announced that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found that Jon Jones tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. The sample tested positive after weigh-ins the day before UFC 214.

Turinabol is a performance enhancer that originated in Germany; its main use is to promote muscular endurance. There has been no decision on Jones’ disciplinary sentence as of yet. According to White, if Jon Jones is found guilty he will be stripped of the championship belt and suspended for four years. In a press conference given by White, he was asked about Jones’ future and was quoted saying, “It’s brutal. It’s unbelievable… it’s probably the end of his career.” This could be Jones’ third stripping of his championship belt.

To Jones’ credit, his violation from USADA in 2016 was from a tainted sample, but he was still responsible for taking the substance, and still given a suspension. In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani Jon Jones’ agent Malki Kawa says that he believes that the same will hold true from this recent incident. “I can almost bet my life on it that this is another tainted supplement…. You’ve got to just take a look at the testing and how this thing went down. Jon passed two (random, out-of-competition) tests, July 6th and July 7th, ... and in passing those two tests, they test for all of that stuff we failed for. So therefore, you’re talking about from the day he passed that test until the day before the fight, he would’ve had to have ingested something that would’ve caused this test to come out positive.”

Jon Jones’ issues continue to grow. He was cited for drifting, driving under the influence and striking a utility pole, fleeing the scene of incident, declining a sobriety test, and using cocaine to name a few.

Ariel Helwani asked Daniel Cormier about the recent allegations surrounding Jones, “All of this time that I was in the USADA program, I was actually taking supplements, and I never actually had anything like that happen … So I just don’t understand how something like that could happen, especially back-to-back. And I really want to be careful with how I answer these questions because Jon is entitled to the process of what’s going to happen with his other tests, but I think in the last case (before UFC 200), they said he was reckless, so they gave him a year (suspension). How could you be reckless again going into another fight? It’s so odd. So for me, it’s very concerning, because it seems as though in the last two fights that him and I were supposed to fight, that something like that happens. And I don’t want to be sour grapes. That’s why it’s hard to answer the question — he won the fight. But it just makes it very odd.”

This is the second time in Jones’ career he has been accused of taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s); coincidentally, both times it was against Daniel Cormier.

Is this the end of the road for Jones? A retest of the sample seems to be the only way his career can be saved. No matter the outcome, there may be a clear asterisk beside his name and title of “the greatest of all-time.” 

News broke, a few weeks after that Jon Jones would be striped of his UFC Light-Heavyweight title, and potentially suspended for four years.

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017 USADA confirmed that Jon Jones’ “B sample” he requested to be tested has come back positive. The B sample was his second blood sample taken also on the day of weigh-ins, a day before UFC 214. Jones’ B sample still contained Turinabol, the anabolic steroid found in his first sample. A spokesperson for USADA said in a statement, “Importantly -- as previously stated -- due process should occur before drawing any conclusions about this matter."

Multiple sources have speculated that since this is a repeated offense for Jones, that it could result in a four-year suspension.

Anton Tabuena of the Bloody Elbow reported that Jon Jones denies the use of steroids. Jones voiced his opinion on Twitter saying he never would, responding to a fan’s accusation:

jon jones twitter'.png

Current UFC Middleweight Champion, Michael Bisping, had more than a few choice words for Jones. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bisping was asked if he believed Jon Jones should be banned for life, “I believe so.... If you have a history of taking performance-enhancing drugs, there’s no place for it. This is a vicious sport. It’s not for everybody. We’re not trying to put a ball into a basket. We’re trying to — you can dress it up however you want — we’re trying to beat our opponents, either into submission or knock them out. Performance-enhancing drugs have no place in this sport.”

Fox Sports announced that the UFC has given the Light-Heavyweight title back to Daniel Cormier, “The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) overturned Jon Jones’ third-round TKO of Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 to a no-contest on Wednesday. Following the CSAC’s decision, UFC President Dana White reinstated Cormier as the heavyweight champion.”

On the set of Fox Sports’ UFC Tonight Daniel Cormier broke the news that UFC President Dana White called him regarding the news:

“Man you know I lost, I lost the fight. As a competitor that’s how I felt, then Dana White called me today and said, ‘If it’s a no-contest then the fight didn’t happen. One of you guys would have missed weight, he would have won the fight, you would have still kept the belt. Because of that the championship is getting returned to you. The fight is a no-contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and won the fight so once again I’m the UFC champion. He disqualified himself for taking the steroid before the fight so I’m taking the belt back, which is the right thing to do. I’m not only saying that cause it’s me, it’s the right thing to do.”

In an article by Shaun Al-Shatti on MMA Fighting, he referred to Daniel Cormier taking to Instagram to tell fans to lay off Jon Jones and show compassion as he is struggling and dealing with a career defining decision, “I call upon you to take a breathe, lay off of Jones,” Cormier wrote. “Let him and his team figure out what's going on and what happened. I was down and some may have kicked me but the majority of you showed compassion and love. After the fight Jones showed compassion, regardless of what has happened as humans we must show compassion. Jon is not on this ride alone, remember this man has a family. Let's respect that. You don't show ur support for me by hurting others.”

This really could be the end for Jon Jones. We await to confirm if the four-year suspension is official.