Jon Jones’ latest failed drug test might have cost him a shot at the UFC heavyweight title.
Speaking to assembled media following the latest edition of his Tuesday Night Contender Series, UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion was in the preliminary stages of book Jones against Stipe Miocic.
“We were talking about Jones fighting at heavyweight. Probably [against Stipe Miocic],” White said.
Jones vs. Miocic likely would have taken place at UFC 218, which is scheduled for Detroit on Dec. 2. For now, Jones’ future remains in limbo until more information regarding his positive test is revealed. If Jones is determined to have used a banned substance, he could be facing as much as a four-year suspension, as this would be his second positive test in a little more than a year’s time.
“If you talk about legacy, that might be the end of his career,” White said.
“It’s tough. How old is Jon now 30? [At] 33 or 34, trying to make a comeback again. If you look at what could have been, what he could have done. It’s sad.”
Jones defeated Daniel Cormier via third-round TKO in the UFC 214 headliner in Anaheim, Calif., on July 29. Leading up to their rematch, “DC” repeatedly claimed that Jones had been a beneficiary of performance enhancing drugs. If Jones is suspended for a significant period of time, White believes Cormier would once again be the world’s top light heavyweight.
“As far as I’m concerned, Cormier would be the champion,” he said. “The only guy he’s ever lost to in his whole career is Jon Jones. He’s the champion if Jones isn’t.”
Overall, White felt the way most of the MMA world did when he was informed of the latest Jones news.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m sure I feel the same way every one of you felt when you heard,” he said. “I’m not gonna say anything until this whole thing plays out and we see where we end up. But it’s unbelievable.
“These never come at a good time. Especially with someone like Jon Jones…In my opinion, he’s the best to ever do it. He’s the best ever.”
Dana White says before the news broke they were working on Stipe Miocic vs. Jon Jones for the heavyweight championship in Detroit. Wow. pic.twitter.com/vGVn3hJUwc— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 23, 2017
Dana White on Jon Jones, "This might be the end of his career." pic.twitter.com/fu9uGyrgLc— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 23, 2017