What's the story?
Jon Jones has come out clean from his UFC 232 drug screening procedures and will be holding on to his light heavyweight belt, longer than most critics would have expected. Following a clinical performance against "The Mauler" in Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, Jones claimed what he believes, was always rightfully his - the 205-pound championship gold.
In case you didn't know...
Following a 15-month suspension from the UFC, Jones was deemed eligible for a return to the Octagon on the UFC 232 fight card, scheduled for December 29th, 2018. The former light heavyweight champion fought for the vacant title against arch-rival, Alexander Gustafsson, soon after Daniel Cormier parted ways from his 205-pound belt. Jones managed to finish Gustafsson in round number three after a barrage of ground and pound strikes proved to be a little in excess for the big Swede.
Leading up to his UFC 232 fight, Jones was found to have tested positive, once again, for performance enhancements. After testing positive for a picogram amount of oral Turinabol, 'Bones' was denied the license to fight within the state of Nevada. The UFC was then forced to shift base from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, to The Forum in Inglewood, California, on just six days notice. Following this incident, the California State Athletic Commission granted Jones with the license to fight within the state, thereby allowing him to compete for the light heavyweight championship against Gustafsson.
The heart of the matter
California State Athletic Commission executive director, Andy Foster, recently spoke with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, confessing that Jones did come out clean from his UFC 232 drug testing. On Thursday, a drug screening conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency proved to work in Jones' favour after he tested negative for any illegal substances.
Jones is now set to face Anthony Smith for the UFC's upcoming 235 card, scheduled for March 2nd, 2019. Anthony Smith is a formidable prospect for title contention and will be going against Jones who will be making his first championship defence since UFC 232.
Jon Jones coming scot-free from his in-competition drug testing seems to be a highlight for the promotion, considering his tainted history with PED allegations. Will the return of Jones be the beginning of the end for the rest of the light heavyweight roster?
Be sure to leave us with your thoughts, opinions, and predictions in the comments section below!