According to MMA Imports, who are quoting Dave Meltzer, employees within the UFC believe that Jon Jones will fight again in 2018.
Former Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 to win back the Title, but had it stripped from him shortly after the event because it was found that he tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, in an out of competition USADA test heading up to the event.
Ever since, Jon Jones has had to appear before the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) to have his MMA license revoked and is awaiting USADA’s verdict as well.
Since Jones already tested positive for an estrogen blocker and was not allowed to fight at UFC 200, being slapped with a one-year suspension by USADA, he is expected to receive a 4-year ban this time around, since it is his second offence.
However, as Dave Meltzer reports, sources within the UFC claim that they expect Jon Jones to fight in 2018 again.
I just happened to be talking to somebody at the UFC the other day, and one of the things… So, we were talking about the Jon Jones thing, and the person told me they still expect Jon to fight before the end of 2018.
And I don’t understand how that’s even humanly possible.
I just wanted to bring that up, because after that thing (California disciplinary punishment) on Tuesday, I mean realistically, I don’t see anyway you can justify less than a four year suspension. I think they probably won’t suspend him for four years because he’s Jon Jones, but I can’t see see less than three [years].
And it really should be four.
I can’t come up with an explanation how it couldn’t be four. So anyway I just wanted to throw that out there, because they’re not approaching this like he’s going to be out a long time.
If the UFC knows something that the rest of us don’t that would explain why they seem to be bullish about his chances of making a return to the Octagon sometime this year.
However, the lack of concrete defence displayed by Jon Jones in front of the CSAC in his hearing, coupled with the fact that he implicated himself in having a USADA undertaking forged by his management team, does seem to suggest that he is not going to get off lightly with the anti-doping agency.