Jon Jones
Bones
Granted one-fight license
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 29, 2019
Jones was granted a one-fight conditional license by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday, allowing him to defend his title against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in March, Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
ANALYSIS
Trace amounts of a steroid metabolite were found in the lead-up to Jones' last fight at UFC 232 in December, causing the event to be moved to California. Those metabolites remain, though the amount is low enough that it was determined that Jones is receiving no performance-enhancing benefits. Jones will have to be tested at minimum twice a month leading up to UFC 235, and the testing will have to continue throughout the rest of the year if he's to be granted a full license. Similarly low amounts of the same metabolite will be permitted, as they've been assumed to be remnants of a prior infraction which have still yet to leave his system, but any increase will lead to the license being revoked.
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No punishment despite trace amount of steroids
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 23, 2019
Jones will not be suspended despite trace amounts of a steroid metabolite being found in his drug test by VADA on Wednesday, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones' tests for USADA and the CSAC following his victory over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 came back clean, but additional tests for VADA did find some issues. The same metabolites had been found in similarly small amounts back in December, causing UFC 232 to be moved to California and forcing Jones to enroll in VADA. It was determined that no re-administration of a banned substance had occurred and that the trace amounts of the substance had no performance-enhancing benefits. As Jones had already been punished for the steroid, there was no need to punish him again.
Tests clean after UFC 232
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 10, 2019
Jones submitted two clean drug tests to USADA and the CSAC surrounding his UFC 232 victory over Alexander Gustafsson, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
This is great news for Jones, who did not even register a single picogram of a banned substance (or metabolite of a banned substance) in the recent array of tests. He'll continue to be the most tested athlete in the sport, as he's subjected himself to both VADA and USADA testing. Jones must continue to stay on the straight and narrow in advance of his upcoming hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission, but these disclosed results are a major step in the right direction. Should everything go as planned in front of the commission, "Bones" will then be cleared for his March matchup against Anthony Smith. Current betting odds peg him as a heavy favorite as high as (-1200).
Title defense tentatively booked
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 6, 2019
Jones will defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2, provided he is licensed by the Nevada Athletic Commission at a Jan. 29 hearing, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones is coming off a victory in dominant fashion over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, and will waste little time getting back into the cage for his first official title defense since regaining the belt. The matchup against Gustafsson was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, but the UFC was forced to move the entire fight card to Los Angeles due to a licensing issue in the state of Nevada. Essentially, Jones had tested positive for trace amounts of a long-term metabolite of oral turinabol (a banned substance), though it was ultimately determined that no evidence of new ingestion occurred, and that he would not receive any performance-enhancing benefits from that small amount. The Nevada Athletic Commission did not have time for a hearing on that situation, but since California was already well-versed in the case from their previous experience with Jones, they agreed to license him for the Dec. 29 event. Now, Nevada will need to come to the same conclusion before this fight is official. Should the matchup go on as planned, look for Jones to enter as a significant betting favorite over Smtih. While Smith has put together a solid, three-fight winning streak, he'll be giving up eight inches in reach to Jones, who hasn't competed in a non-title fight since 2011.
Regains UFC Light Heavyweight title
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 29, 2018
Jones defeated Alexander Gustafssson via TKO (punches) at 2:02 of Round 3 at UFC 232 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
ANALYSIS
This was a competitive fight until Jones got the takedown. Both fighters were tentative in the first round. Jones had a higher output which likely put him ahead on the judges' scorecards. He also found success with leg kicks and Gustafsson seemed to injure his left leg. In the second, the action picked up and both fighters had their moments as they traded strikes. Gustafsson showed great takedown defense throughout the fight, but "Bones" was able to secure a takedown in the third round. Once Jones took down "The Mauler" he unleashed vicious ground and pound to finish the fight.
Enrolls in VADA testing
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 26, 2018
Jones has enrolled in a VADA (voluntary anti-doping association) drug testing program, Danny Segura of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This was a step that had been recommended by the Nevada Athletic Commision (NAC), but also a program which Jones' team had previously declined to participate in. Of course, Jones has since tested positive for a trace amount of a prohibited substance, resulting in his failure to be licensed by the NAC and the UFC ultimately deciding to move the entire UFC 232 event to Los Angeles. As part of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) stipulations for granting Jones a license in California, the light heavyweight fighter will be required to enroll in VADA, in addition to his current obligation to USADA, the UFC's anti-doping partner. He'll be one of the first and most highly-publicized fighters to be enrolled in both programs simultaneously, which will likely subject him to additional drug testing in advance of Saturday's matchup against Alexander Gustafsson. Despite all the drama surrounding the upcoming fight, the betting line for Jones has held quite steady, as he remains roughly a (-285) favorite as of Wednesday morning.