In what truly was the worst case scenario for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Jon Jones was pulled from his headlining title unification fight against Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier -- which was set to pop off at UFC 200 on Sat., July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada -- after "Bones" was flagged for a potential violation by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
A crushing blow to what not only promised to be the most stacked pay-per-view (PPV) event of all time, but to Cormier, too, who was left out in the cold with no one to tango with in "Sin City," effectively losing his opportunity to get one back from his biggest rival.
A disappointed "DC" offered up his reaction to the news during a late impromptu press conference last night (July 6, 2016):
"Very disappointing. I worked really hard to prepare for this. You know, you take care of what you can take care of and that's what I did. More than anything, just very disappointing. I've done everything right. I put myself in a position where I felt I could win this fight. So, to hear something like this is very sad, from a competitive standpoint and from a financial standpoint. There are a number of ways in which this is disappointing and I really don't know exactly how to explain how I'm feeling right now.
[Jones] said all the right things. Got a team to manage him, in all the areas of his life, not just inside of the Octagon with his coaches, but he got a crisis management coach, so very surprising. Sometimes, I was very hard on him. But at the end of it, if he was doing better, who am I to be the moral police? I've made a lot of mistakes. I've done some things in my life that are terrible. I've been through a divorce because of things that I have done outside of my marriage. I'm not perfect. I've done a lot of negative things in my life, but I try to just improve on them as I move forward. If anybody has given me chances, obviously he deserves a chance if he's going to do the right thing. So I'm not the moral police, I really don't care all that much to judge him all the time.
I've always fought whoever the UFC has offered me to fight, so if Jones is back and the fight was defined, of course I would take it. I'm just here to fight. I'm here to fight and be an example for kids to look up to and know that regardless of your circumstances of how you start, it's how you finish and doing the right thing and be nice to people, care about people, people care about you. This chapter in my life has been dragging me and dragging me, and it's made me ugly. And it's not me normally. You guys have seen me over the course of my career and so my behavior is obviously very different. Guess we'll see what happens in his due process. But as of right now, I've got to move forward."
Credit to Cormier, who didn't take the opportunity to bash his arch-nemesis, despite the fact that 24 hours prior "Bones" mocked him and reminded him that he took his undefeated record from him at UFC 182 during a time when partying was a priority for him
As a result at the unfortunate turn of events, UFC 200 will now be headlined by a three-round Heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt.
For more on the historic event, which will also feature an interim Featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar as well as a women's Bantamweight title fight between Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes -- click here.