Earlier today, (Weds., Sept 19, 2018), Jon Jones escaped a lengthy four-year suspension from competitive mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, with United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) handing “Bones” a retroactive 15-month suspension for failing another career-threatening drug test in July 2017. Somehow, someway, “Bones” is eligible to return to the Octagon as early as Oct. 28, 2018.
Soon after news broke, Jones expressed his gratitude at USADA’s ruling via social media:
It’s difficult to express myself at this moment but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation. I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 20, 2018
It has meant the world to me and always will. But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 20, 2018
Furthermore, UFC President Dana White offered his reaction to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, giving “science” (and Jones) the benefit of the doubt:
Comment from Dana White on Jon Jones: pic.twitter.com/WQXET01jYy— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 20, 2018
That is perhaps a veiled statement from White, who would never, ever want to pretend that he is on the eve of making a blockbuster announcement in the middle of a press conference to promote a blockbuster pay-per-view (PPV) event tomorrow afternoon in New York City. Indeed, UFC 229’s Conor McGregor-led press conference will take place tomorrow and UFC 230, which takes place inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Nov., 3, 2018, is still, mysteriously, without a main event.
Nevertheless, whenever (and wherever) Jones makes his much-anticipated return to action, there are several intriguing match ups for the former 205-pound champion.
Chief among them is an obvious trilogy fight against UFC’s latest “champ-champ” Daniel Cormier, who just so happens to be Jones’ biggest rival. But, that won’t happen next, as “DC” is focused on a potential big-money showdown against Brock Lesnar sometime next year, which will be for his Heavyweight strap.
Of course, there is always a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson, who is currently stuck in limbo thanks to Cormier owning both the 205- and 265-pound straps. Or could this potential scrap finally go down?
No matter how you slice it, business is about to pick up inside the Octagon. And we might have an answer in less than 24 hours.