The last time the MMA world saw Jon Jones compete in the Octagon, he appeared to be the embodiment of inspiration. Once a man who was persona non grata with the UFC and much of its fanbase, Jones seemed to find and exemplify what it means to find redemption after scoring the knockout victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 and then opening up to the world about second chances. Then, the results of the drug test taken a day before the event came back and, well, we know how that story ends.
Except we don’t. No one does, save perhaps USADA. There have been rumors of a Jon Jones return at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden to main event the card; but the truth is, there is still no official word yet on how USADA will adjudicate Jon Jones’s failed test. The California State Athletic Commission handed down a hefty $205,000 fine to Jones and had his license temporarily revoked but deferred to USADA to determine suspension length as well as any potential sanctions for Jones. Since then, we have all been waiting to determine the fate of Jon Jones. But one thing has never changed from the moment the failed test results were made public: Jones has, and still, continued to deny ever intentionally using performance-enhancing drugs:
“As far as the whole steroid situation, I never did them,” Jones said in an interview with RT Sport.
“I do believe it was found in my system, a very small amount, metabolite, but I never intentionally took any performance enhancers and I’ve been working my tail off for the last year to try and prove that. Right now, we are still waiting for what they are going to do,” he added.
As for this rumored return for UFC 230? Either Jones is holding his cards very close to his chest or he legitimately remains as much in the dark as the rest of us. Which means the update on his suspension length or return date is that there still is no update:
“I’m hoping for a reduced sentence from four years,” Jones said, “but I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I’m just staying faithful and trying to do the right things and just focusing on the things I can control while waiting.”
What do you think will be Jon Jones’s USADA suspension length?