Jon Jones has been cleared to fight at UFC 235 in Nevada on March 2nd.
That decision came as part of a lengthy 4+ hour Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing that also established penalties for Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s brawl at UFC 229. McGregor got served a six month suspension and $50,000 fine, while Khabib got nine months and $500,000. Regarding Jones, the NSAC decided that he would be granted a one off license to compete in the state despite repeated picogram levels of oral Turanibol metabolites showing up in multiple drug tests. According to USADA and several experts contacted by the drug testing organization, those metabolites are most likely remnants from previous exposure that Jones already spent over a year and a half suspended over.
A previous appearance in front of the CSAC didn’t go so well for Jones, but fortunately for the light heavyweight champion, this particular commission kept things dry and boring. Afterwards, he gave a short speech to the media assembled at the meeting.
”I just wanted to make a quick statement saying thank you so much,” Jones said. “To USADA, to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, my team, the UFC, mainly the fans, everyone for sticking by me through this process, allowing me to say my piece, to go through this process and eventually prove my innocence.”
”Super grateful to be back fighting in Nevada,” he continued. “Excited for March 2nd, it’s going to be a magnificent event. And just really looking forward to all the testing. Looking forward to getting back in front of the fans and putting on great fights. So guys, thank you guys, the MMA media for being here covering this. And I’ll see you at UFC 235. God bless you!”
With Jones cleared to fight at UFC 235, the promotion now has its next major card ready to go. In additon to Jones fighting surging contender Anthony “Lionheart” Smith for the 205 pound belt, the card also features a welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Karamu Usman. Intruiging bouts that pit Robbie Lawler against Ben Askren and Jeremy Stephens against Zabit Magomedsharipov just scratch the surface of the depth on the card.
Now we just have to hope nothing else crazy happens in regards to Jones to derail things. In addition to random USADA and VADA testing, Nevada vowed to test him multiple times leading up to the fight and closely examine his biological passport, a fancy way of saying they’ll going to go over all his levels with a fine tooth comb. We look forward to seeing the bookies set odds the fight makes it to March 2nd ... and stays in Nevada this time.