If Jon Jones is to be believed, his UFC return could arrive a lot sooner than initially anticipated.
The interim light heavyweight champion was pulled from the UFC 200 headliner on July 9 against Daniel Cormier after it was revealed he failed an out-of-competition drug test on June 16, testing positive for two estrogen blocking substances: hydroxyclomiphene and letrozole metabolite.
Jones apologized for the failed drug test in a tearful press conference on July 7 and denied ever using performance enhancing drugs. “Bones” has been largely silent since then, but in a video posted to an Instagram account on Sunday, he was much more upbeat.
“How’s it going ‘Bones Jones’ supporters? If there are any of you guys still out there, I just wanted to take a few seconds to say hello to you all and to give you a little update on how I’ve been doing,” he said. “I’ve been doing really good: training, spending time with family, attacking some of these legal issues that I’ve gotten myself into. I’m trying to really just leave that all behind once and for all.
“I’m sure you guys are curious about what’s going on with this USADA situation,” he continued. “Obviously I can’t get into it because it’s still pending, but what I can say is that we have found out lots of really good news, and I am expecting to be back in the Octagon really soon.”
Jon Jones just dropped this message on Instagram and says he has good news & expects to be back in the Octagon soon. pic.twitter.com/Q6U8GFBSTo— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 15, 2016
Jones was temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission pending a formal hearing and could face up to a two-year sanction. However, the optimistic tone of his message implies that his team may have found an alternative reason for his failed test. That could result in a reduced punishment, such as when UFC welterweight Tim Means received six-month suspension after proving that his positive test for the androgen receptor modulator ostarine came as a result of a tainted supplement.
Jones has fought just once since his first meeting with Cormier at UFC 182, taking a five-round verdict over Ovince St. Preux to claim interim 205-pound gold at UFC 197 in April. Last week, the Jackson-Wink MMA representative accepted a plea deal in a drag racing case from March 24 and was ordered to complete 60 hours of community service and take an aggressive driving course.
“Thank you guys for your continued support. I love you guys and I hope you are spending this Sunday with the people that you love. Be good, and I’ll see you guys really soon,” Jones said.