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UFC 232: The Jon Jones camp wants you to believe his drug-test suspensions were actually a good thing

I’ve got some bad news for all the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters (like this guy) stuck on the bench because of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA): You can’t win a fight if you don’t step into the Octagon.

The good news? You can’t lose one, either!

That’s kind of how coach Brandon Gibson is approaching the multiple layoffs from former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, who’s only competed four times over the last five years.

Sure, “Bones” is missing out on those $500k checks, but at least his brain is safe.

“He’s not getting his brains battered in,” Gibson told The MMA Hour. “He’s not getting concussions. He’s taking care of his body and his mind, and this is such a — at this top one percent, these guys are tough. He has a long fight career ahead of him still, and he really feels like this time off has prolonged his career that much more.”

It’s not like Jones had much of a choice.

After serving a one-year suspension for failing his UFC 200 drug test (details here), the embattled pound-for-pound great returned to action and stopped Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 ... only to fail a second exam and head right back to the sidelines.

And that doesn’t include his 2015 suspension for hit-and-run.

“If he was still fighting three to five times a year like he was when he was younger, I think that will burn guys out early,” Gibson said. “I think that’s where you start seeing the guys in their mid-thirties that are slow, that are not reacting, that can’t pull the trigger, that just aren’t recognizing things like they used to, and I think a lot of that comes with just the toll of the training camps in addition to the fights.”

You know what they say about clouds and linings.

We’ll see what kind of impact the layoff had when Jones steps into the cage to rematch Alexander Gustafsson in the upcoming UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the soon-to-be vacant strap will be on the line.

Early predictions?

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