Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was hoping for a reduced sentence in the doping case that caused an abrupt halt to his anticipated rematch with longtime rival Daniel Cormier in the main event of July 9’s UFC 200.
And many thought ‘Bones’ would get just that, as his team insisted that his test failure for banned estrogen-blocking substances clomiphene and Letrozol was due to his ingestion of sexual performance enhancement drug Cialis. Indeed, two previously suspended UFC fighters in middleweight Yoel Romero and welterweight Tim Means were able to receive short six-month bans, yet it appears Jones wasn’t quite as fortunate.
News arrived last week that Jones and his team had finished their arbitration with USADA prior to his hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) this month, and his attorney Howard Jacobs revealed both sides were unable to come to an amicable settlement. Today we find out why, as Jones has been suspended for one full year dating back to July 9.
A fullly detailed description of the arbitration session, where Jones was found to have a “degree of fault in fact verged on the reckless,” can be read here.
Apparently the troubled former champion answered precious few questions about his Cialis use, revealing only who had given him the drug and if it was for a sexual performance purposes.
Jones also did not receive the shorter six-month term Romero and Means did because their cases involved ingesting supplements which contained a banned substance not listed no the label, while Jones simply failed to disclose that he was taking Cialis in his pre-fight questionnaire.
In summation, the arbitrators issued a stern decision for Jones’ case, seemingly focused on his nonchalant attitude for what he called a ‘dick pill’ and deeming it a warning for any and all professional fighters in similiar situations:
“On the evidence before the Panel, the Applicant is not a drug cheat. He did not know that the tablet he took contained prohibited substances or that those substances had the capacity to enhance sporting performance. However by his imprudent use of what he pungently referred to as a ‘dick pill’ he has not only lost a year of his career but an estimated nine million dollars. This outcome which he admits to be a wake-up call for him should serve as a warning to all others who participate in the same sport.”
The suspension is the latest self-imposed layoff for Jones, who, despite being arguably the greatest mixed martial artist to step into the UFC Octagon, just cannot seem to get out of his own way since his highly publicized hit-and-run accident in April 2015 put a halt to his anticipated title bout with currently top-ranked contender Anthony Johnson.
Cormier and Johnson will throw down in the main event of December 10’s UFC 206, and the winner may have no other legitimate option but to wait for interim champ (if he remains such) Jones’ return in July. But based on the past few years, it’s hard to trust that Jones will make it through a full training camp without incident for his latest ‘comeback.’
That’s a shame, because the shallowest division in MMA certainly needs a headlining name. It also needs its most dominant fighter to focus on his career, if that’s possible anymore.