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Coach Mike Winkeljohn says four-year suspension could end Jon Jones’ career

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MMA: UFC 214-Cormier vs Jones Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The combat sports world is waiting patiently for former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to receive punishment after failing a pre-fight drug test one day prior to his UFC 214 title fight with Daniel Cormier.

Jones offered fight fans some hope after a blood test administered on the night of the fight came back negative, but later solidified his fate after his “Sample B” urine test came back positive for the same banned substance (Turinabol) he initially popped for.

With a lengthy suspension looming in the distance, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community is beginning to wonder if this latest slip-up by Jones will mark the end of his historic career. According to Jones’ coach, Mike Winkeljohn, the former UFC light heavyweight king would have a hard time returning from a four-year ban, which is currently on the table considering Jones popped for penis pills last year prior to UFC 200.

“I don’t know,” Winkeljohn said in a recent interview with Submission Radio. “If it’s a four-year thing, I think it could be just that kind of devastation (that ends Jon’s career), and which like I said, it’s not fair, you know? He messed up in that maybe he took something that someone said was fine, but he’s not doing it thinking, ‘I’m taking steroids or something,’ you know, and that’s the part that’s terrible. He’d be devastated at four years. Who knows, you know? That’s a long time to just spiral downhill where bad things can happen. So that one scares me. If it’s a year (suspension) Jon Jones will come back and dominate the world again, I do believe.”

A four-year suspension would absolutely cripple Jones’ chances of returning to the Octagon and competing like he has over the past nine years. Jones would be 34 years old when he’d be eligible to return and would come back to a fight game completely different than the one it is today.

Despite all of the evidence, Winkeljohn is holding out hope that the substance Jones tested positive for was a product of a tainted supplement. It wouldn’t necessarily help Jones’ public perception at this point, but it would partially alleviate fault.

“There’s no way [Jon took steroids],” Winkeljohn explained. “Jon Jones had been tested multiple times going through the fight camp, he would not do something like that.

“The problem is the public perception. They think he’s got these needles and shoving steroids in his arms. Don’t get me wrong, I understand Jon has messed up in the past, he’s got caught drinking and driving, he done some bad things, he done things that are idiotic, but he’s grown up. But as far taking steroids, what he’s been busted for is taking a Viagra Cialis from Mexico that had something in it, that’s not steroids but it came up that way and if I had to guess it’s going to come out that there’s been something that he took to re-hydrate himself after his cut or somewhere in that style, that time that was some kind of substance that he thought was just a supplement, that someone said, ‘hey, this will make you feel better, it’s got electrolytes in it and stuff,’ but it was tainted. And everybody thinks, “yeah, that’s just an excuse,” but no, really, that’s it, that’s what it’s going to be.”

While Jones has gotten off the hook before and handed down a reduced suspension, nothing is certain this time around. His disciplinary hearing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 17 in Los Angeles, so we’ll have our answer soon.

Stick with Mania as more Jon Jones news is made available.