Though there was a mountain of controversy looming over Jon Jones heading into his UFC 232 main event rematch with Alexander Gustafsson, he emerged in the sunshine this week, at least on the drug testing front.
The UFC made the unprecedented decision to move UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles the week of the event because of abnormal findings stemming from Jones's Dec. 9 drug test. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials had indicated lingering residual metabolites of the substance for which he had already served a suspension stemming from a contaminated supplement.
In the firestorm surrounding the decision, it also came to light that not only had Jones tested positive for picograms (a minute measurement) of the metabolites in December, he had shown similar results in two samples collected in late summer/early fall.
USADA and UFC officials cited multiple third-party experts that backed the idea that Jones had not ingested any new intake of oral Turinabol, the substance for which he had been flagged, that the results were a rare, abnormal finding that has happened in other cases.
The California State Athletic Commission approved the move to Los Angeles because it was already intimately familiar with Jones's case and felt confident in the opinions of the experts. Still, Jones was required to perform two separate drug tests on the night of UFC 232, as well as conform to other pre-fight stipulations.
Jones touted passing the two UFC 232 fight night drug tests following a tweet from ESPN's Brett Okamoto, who indicated Jones showed no adverse results the night of the fight. CSAC executive director Andy Foster confirmed as much to MMAWeekly.com.
"Finished my so-called kryptonite before the championship rounds. Absolutely no jet fuel was found on the murder scene; Alexander Gustafsson, just wanted to make sure you saw this. Seemed like that was the only thing you could focus on in our last fight," Jones said in an Instagram post.
"Interested to hear the excuses of my next few victims. Only 51 more days to go, will you be a witness?"
Jones was referring to his next fight booking, which has already been added to the schedule pending clearance by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The NSAC approved moving UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles as long as Jones agreed to come before the commission in January to review his drug test results en route to him getting licensed in the state.
As long as Jones is approved by the NSAC – which appears likely considering his UFC 232 fight night results showing no abnormal findings – he will headline UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas. Jones is expected to put the UFC light heavyweight championship on the line opposite Anthony Smith in the main event.