After months and months of investigations into Jon Jones’ failed drug test at UFC 214 last year, United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed “Bones” a 15-month retroactive suspension which allowed him to return to action later this year.
It was a sigh of relief for Jones and his team, as a second offense under USADA normally carries with it an extended suspension up to four years. Had the drug testing agency laid the hammer down, it wouldn’t have been the end of Jon’s combat sports career. It would’ve, however, been the end of “Bones” fighting inside the Octagon.
According to Jon, if things hadn’t gone his way with USADA, he was prepared to ask the promotion for his unconditional release so that he could pursue his fighting career overseas.
“I was facing a four-year suspension and that was devastating. I had to really re-evaluate a lot of things such as, what I think of the sport or fighting overseas. Who am I outside of the sport? It was a major learning experience for me to go through something like what I just got out of,” he said during a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“I would've moved on. I would've probably talked to UFC about getting out of my contract and fighting overseas. I feel like a lot of organizations would be happy to have me. I think they would paid me pretty well. Definitely not the money I get paid in UFC, but I felt like whee I would move I would be on of their top priorities and treated well.”
While Jon is one of the highest paid fighters under the UFC banner, ONE FC seems to be shelling out major coin to acquire new talent. So it’s safe to say Jon would’ve landed on his feet rather quickly. Whether or not Dana White and Co. would've granted him his release, is another story.
Still, Jones wouldn’t have moved on to another career, as he gets paid handsomely for his services. Something he says he doesn’t take for granted.
“I wouldn’t have moved on from the sport. There are not many things you can do where you can make over a million dollars in one night. I am very aware of that so I wouldn’t have moved on from fighting. This is a very special job I have,” he concluded.
In the end, everything fell into place and Jones will make his much-anticipated return to the Octagon when he faces Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 232 on Dec. 29, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.