MPO Year in Review: No. 2 Jon Jones returns to Octagon and is flagged by USADA (again)

December 31, 2017

In addition to the return of GSP, Jon Jones returned from suspension for his long-awaited grudge match with Daniel Cormier.  However, what we thought was a great redemption story turned into another setback for a fighter that could have been the best ever.

Notably, at the Summer Kickoff press conference in May, UFC fans had turned on Cormier, and in pro wrestling-fashion, Jon Jones became the bad-boy turned crowd favorite.

The promotion of the event was great and everyone was happy that the two made it to UFC 214 without injury or setback.  It was a good fight as Cormier looked much better than their first fight at UFC 182.  However, Jones was able to finish Cormier and gave one of the best post-fight Octagon interviews ever which seemed to tie a bow on the Jones redemption story.  A fight against Brock Lesnar in 2018 seemed like a blockbuster waiting to happen.

But then Jones was flagged by USADA a month later for an in-competition violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  Although his blood tests were negative, his urine tests post-weigh-ins were positive for a banned substance.  His “B” sample was positive for the anabolic steroid and banned substance Turinabol.

The event drew 850,000 PPV buys making it the second-most purchased fight of the year.  But, we learned that Jones had been flagged yet again by USADA for a failed drug test.  Once again, Jones proclaimed his innocence, but just coming off one suspension, Jones faces a stiffer (four-year suspension) one as he might be considered a repeat offender if he cannot clear his name from the failed drug test.

While we are letting the due process work itself out, the legacy of Jon Jones is tainted.  Through all of his legal problems, fans have given him chance after chance.  UFC 214 should have been his triumphant return from the brink.  Now, it appears that it will be a longshot that we will ever see Jon Jones in his prime in the UFC again.

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