Now that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones is getting closer to his much-anticipated return to action following a year-long suspension for a failed drug test at UFC 200, “Bones’” rivals are picking up where they left off.
Recently, Alexander Gustafsson slammed Jones for not being a “good” person and taking pride in his past drug use, something “The Mauler” says the ex-champ has been doing for the majority of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Now, his biggest rival of all, current 205-pound champion Daniel Cormier, is chiming in on the situation, saying that Jones will have no choice but to fight clean since United States Anti Doping (USADA) agency is on the scene.
“You heard Alexander Gustafsson now is saying he believes that Jon was enhanced throughout his career,” Cormier stated during UFC Tonight via MMA Fighting. “But before, we had no sanctioning body like USADA. USADA now is on top of all that, so I do believe that we will see a different fighter in Anaheim, because I do believe he’ll have to be clean this time, otherwise he’ll be caught.”
In his previous outing at UFC 197 against Ovince Saint Preux back in April of 2016, Jones looked like a shell of his former self. Granted, he won the fight, which was his first after yet another mandated year-long layoff. But “DC” feels Jon’s lackluster performance had more to do with the fact that he was fighting without the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) for the first time in a long time.
As a result, Cormier says “Bones” went back to his old ways prior to their scheduled fight at UFC 200, which eventually lead to him getting busted by USADA for using anti-estrogen substances (hydroxy-clomiphene), scrapping the much-anticipated rematch altogether.
“I think he fought Ovince Saint Preux clean, and he didn’t like the way he felt, and tried to do something again dirty and he got caught at UFC 200,” Cormier said, who didn’t deny the fact that Jones is still dangerous, though he may lose a step or two when they collide at UFC 214 on July 29 thanks to USADA.
“I think he will still be very tough, because he has a ton of skill, he’s very quick, he’s very long, he’s got a lot of physical advantages that a lot of us don’t have,” Cormier said. “I think what you will see is he will be a little more tentative, he may not be as aggressive as in some places. ... I think you’ll see is a guy in the beginning of his career where he actually started to tire. He got tired just beating on Stephen Bonnar,’ he concluded.
UFC 214 is expected to go down inside the Honda center in Anaheim, California. To see the most up-to-date fight card for the pay-per-view (PPV) event click here.