The path has been cleared for Jon Jones to make his Octagon return at UFC 232.
The California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to grant the former UFC light heavyweight champion a temporary license. Jones had his license revoked in February for failing a drug test at UFC 214. He was also fined $205,000, which he paid on Tuesday.
At the previous hearing earlier this year, CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster said the commission would honor whatever sanctions USADA handed to Jones. That turned out to be a reduced 15-month suspension, which ended on Oct. 28.
As another condition for having his license reinstated, Jones agreed to perform community service at Gracie Barra gyms in Anaheim, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. The Jackson-Wink MMA member targeted the first quarter of 2019 to fulfill those obligations, at which point the “temporary” designation attached to his license will be removed.
Jones, who attended the meeting with his attorney, Howard Jacobs, agreed in principle to participate in Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) testing at the suggestion of the commission. If Jones does eventually formally agree to the program, CSAC will cover the testing expenses. However, he is not required to do so.
“I just want to make sure it’s clear that everyone understands what we’re saying,” Jacobs said at the hearing. “We’re agreeable in principle. Of course, the devil’s in the details. We need to see what exactly it is that we’re agreeing to, as far as what VADA is testing for, when they test, what their restrictions are.”
Jones tested positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol in an in-competition drug test in relation to his UFC 214 bout against Daniel Cormier. “Bones” also tested positive for two anti-estrogen agents ahead of UFC 200 in July 2016, which led to him being pulled from a proposed bout against Cormier.
Jones is scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant light heavyweight crown in the UFC 232 headliner at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 29. Cormier, the reigning 205-pound king, will officially relinquish the belt once Jones vs. Gustafsson begins.