For the second time in 19 months, the UFC has stripped Jon Jones (pictured) of a light heavyweight title.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN.com‘s 5ive Rounds.
“It doesn’t make sense,” White said. “He was the interim champion because he should have been fighting for the title [at UFC 197]. We gave him this, ‘You were supposed to fight for the title, here it is.’
“Jon Jones has blown it in every way, shape and form a guy with that much talent can blow it,” White said. “Greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever.”
Jones was issued a one-year suspension yesterday by the USADA after clomiphene and letrozole were discovered in his system during an out-of-competition drug test that forced his removal from UFC 200 just three days before showtime. The USADA discovered the banned substances were found in a contaminated sexual enhancement pill Jones irresponsibly took without clarifying what was contained in it.
Jones is eligible to return as early as July 6. However, he still faces a possible ban from the Nevada Athletic Commission, the committee who removed him from UFC 200. Jones has yet to secure a hearing date with the NAC.
Jones, the most decorated light heavyweight champion in UFC history, captured the interim belt by beating Ovince St. Preux in April. It was his first fight back after getting stripped of his light heavyweight crown after a felony hit-and-run arrest in April 2015 where a pregnant motorist suffered a broken arm.
He was slated to face current champ Daniel Cormier in a title unification bout in July’s historic UFC 200 event before his flunked drug test came to light.
White estimated that Jones lost between $15-$20 million by getting pulled from UFC 200.
After Tuesday’s announcement of his suspension, Jones seemed to be more satisfied than anything after the three-person arbitration committee proclaimed he was “not a cheater of the sport,” but merely “reckless” in consuming a random pill before confirming exactly what he put in his body.