Jon Jones will see your suspension and raise you no craps given.
It appears that Jon Jones has a chance to headline UFC 230 in New York. Despite the USADA violations which stemmed from a test back around his UFC 214 fight with light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier it is a real possibility. Jones was flagged for a steroid metabolite and stripped of the light heavyweight title he had just taken from Cormier at the event. It was a mess.
Jones had his MMA license revoked by the CSAC and was fined $205,000 in February. Thanks to an arbitrator who stepped in on Wednesday he only received a 15 month suspension which was made retroactive to the date he was flagged in July of 2017. This means he is eligible to compete on October 28th of this year. UFC 230 goes down on November 3rd in New York and that is now a legitimate potential return date now for the champion.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement (via MMAFighting):
The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18-months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served. This case is another strong reminder that athletes need to be extremely cautious about the products and supplements they use to ensure they are free of prohibited substances.
CSAC executive officer Andy Foster also had a statement:
As announced by USADA today, an independent arbitrator determined that Jon Jones should receive a 15-month sanction for his second violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Although the Commission has not had the opportunity to review the decision at this time, the Commission is agreeable, in concept, to the 15-month sanction time period. In order to have his license reinstated, Mr. Jones will be ordered to complete three months of community service, pay the previously ordered $205,000 fine, and finish out the remainder of the 15-month sanction.
Jon could have been suspended for four years for the failure so we consider him lucky. We expect Jon to start up another feud with Daniel Cormier if DC hasn’t sparked it already.