Yeah, this is real. And it sucks.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones is no longer fighting Daniel Cormier at the upcoming UFC 200 pay-per-view (PPV), scheduled for this Saturday (July 9, 2016) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That's because of a potential anti-doping violation under the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which informed "Bones" that a positive sample was returned during a June 16 out-of-competition drug test. It's unclear at this time what banned substance was detected; however, with showtime less than 72 hours away, it is not nearly enough time for Jones to have his "B" sample independently tested to potentially clear him to compete this weekend.
The embattled 205-pound former undisputed champion will, therefore, be pushed to the sidelines once again. Jones, of course, tested positive for cocaine metabolites one month before he defeated Cormier at UFC 182 in Jan. 2015. However, he was allowed to compete regardless and a punishment was not levied at that time because the substance was, "not on the [WADA] out-of-competition banned substance list."
Loophole successfully navigated (full details here), but Jones tripped himself up just months later after a hit-and-run accident landed him in front of a judge and ultimately compelled UFC to suspend its best fighter and strip him of his world title.
Indeed, now supposedly clean and sober, Jones appeared poised to finally realize his true potential. And now this, another setback that, according to an incredulous Dana White, could lead two a two-year ban if the USADA finding is confirmed.
Check out the impromptu presser video here:
Cormier, meanwhile, will likely do some waiting (again) himself. "DC" was expected to seek revenge in the historic PPV main event, but will once again be forced to stand down. White, as well as Cormier, indicated his willingness to remain on the card, but it's too soon to tell. In addition, White was unsure how the company would handle compensating Cormier, who is apparently "well paid" and was poised to rake in PPV points on top of his personal haul.
The three-round Heavyweight co-main event between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt has been promoted to the main event of the evening.
More details on this breaking news as it happens.