UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are back on speaking terms.
It’s been seven months since Jones returned to the Octagon where he earned a vicious third round knockout over Daniel Cormier to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight championship only see all of that go away just a few weeks later after testing positive for the steroid Turinabol.
Jones’ win against Cormier was overturned to a no contest and his title was stripped as the embattled former champion went back into exile on a provisional suspension from the sport. Following the events unfolded in July, White stated he had no reason to talk to Jones as the UFC boss remained at odds with one of his biggest superstars.
Now it seems White has finally reached out to Jones after revealing that they just spoke on Wednesday of this week.
“Jon and I talked yesterday for the first time since his fight [at UFC 214],” White said when speaking to TMZ. “He sounds good and he says he’s looking at positive things right now and just focusing on training.”
White says he would “obviously” love to have Jones back in 2018 but right now the timeline for his return remains a mystery.
“He sounds good and he says he’s looking at positive things right now and just focusing on training.” ~ Dana White after speaking to Jon Jones
Part of that puzzle will be solved on Feb. 27 when Jones goes before the California State Athletic Commission to answer for his positive drug test surrounding the fight with Cormier. Regardless of whatever sanctions California might levy on Jones, he’s still not out of the woods yet because the former light heavyweight champion will then deal with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) on potential punishment as well.
Because Jones has a previous positive test in 2015 before being suspended one year from the sport, USADA could hand down a sanction as long as four years for this second infraction of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
That’s why White is hesitant to jump too far ahead regarding Jones’ return to action.
“He wants to come back absolutely,” White said about Jones. “I don’t know [about 2018]. That’s up to USADA, I’ve got nothing to do with that.”
Who would you like to see Jon Jones face should he be cleared to return in 2018? Let us know in the comments.