Jon Jones: Trouble is My Middle Name

By Brandon Cadiz

Posted on August 31, 2017 at 5:53pm 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.”