For the second time in his UFC tenure, Jon Jones has been stripped of some championship hardware.
UFC President Dana White confirmed with ESPN.com that Jones has been stripped of the interim light heavyweight belt following the fighter’s one-year USADA suspension for failing an out-of-competition drug test on June 16.
"It doesn't make sense," White said. "He was the interim champion because he should have been fighting for the title [in April]. We gave him this, 'You were supposed to fight for the title. Here it is.’
"It doesn't make sense with all the stuff that is going on for him to still be the interim champion.”
Jones defeated Ovince St. Preux via unanimous decision to capture interim light heavyweight gold at UFC 197 on April 23. “Bones” was supposed to face reigning champion Daniel Cormier at the event, but Cormier withdrew due to injury. Jones and Cormier were booked again at UFC 200, but the Jackson-Wink MMA product’s failed drug test resulted in the suspension that will end on July 6, 2017.
Jones was previously stripped of the undisputed 205-pound title after being arrested for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2015. UFC 197 marked his first bout since defeating Cormier via unanimous decision at UFC 182 in January 2015.
"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.”