MMA News: Jon Jones pulled out of UFC 200, Lesnar vs Hunt to be a 3-round main event
Jon Jones was flagged for a possible anti-doping violation by USADA
In a shocking turn of events, UFC has pulled Jon Jones out of UFC 200 for a potential violation in USADA drug testing. As a result, the fight has been cancelled. But if a suitable fighter steps up to take on Daniel Cormier then the fight will be reinstated, claimed UFC president Dana White.
"Maybe someone will pop up and fight Cormier at the last minute," White stated. "Stranger things have happened."
The cancellation of the main event has resulted in shifting the co-main event, Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt, to the main event spot. But the fight will be scheduled as a three-round main event fight than a traditional five-round fight.
The UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky has stated that Jones has yet to be declared guilty of his violation, but as the fight is on the horizon, it had to be unfortunately cancelled.
"USADA, an independent administrator of the anti-doping policy, will handle results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that under the UFC anti-doping policy, there is a full, fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed”, he explained.
“However, because Jones was scheduled to fight Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout, and therefore the bout has been removed from the fight card.”
White expressed his concern, “Obviously, he has the chance to prove himself innocent before being called guilty. But if it's true, super disappointing."
White also stated that this main event cancellation has affected Daniel Cormier as well, for all the efforts he and his team had exerted in the training camp. The UFC president also stated that he believes in the UFC’s decision in cancelling of the fight despite losing the main event.
This isn’t the first time the match between the two heated rivals has been dropped. Previously, they were scheduled to fight at UFC 178 but the fight was cancelled citing Jones' leg injury. Later at UFC 182, Jones won via unanimous decision.
But he was then stripped of the title due to hit and run accident in early 2015.
When Jones was back, it was Cormier who missed their scheduled rematch at UFC 197 due to injury. And now, when the match was scheduled to take place at the biggest event in the UFC’s history, Jones has been pulled out.
White expressed huge concern over the fallout when he concluded that “Jones might get two years for this."