Jon Jones is trying to make it clear that the UFC 232 relocation is not his fault, but still empathizes with his fans and fellow fighters.
It was announced Sunday that Jones tested positive for a small amount of turinabol, the same steroid metabolite found in his system in August 2017 after a rematch with Daniel Cormier. Jones was eventually given a 15-month suspension by USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, for that drug failure. In this situation, however, USADA has determined that the new positive result is a result of last year’s failure, and not a new ingestion, because it’s such a trace amount.
Jones was set to fight Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight title in the UFC 232 main event in Las Vegas, but Nevada will not license “Bones” for this weekend’s event. So the entire card has been moved to Inglewood, California’s The Forum, just outside of Los Angeles.
Jones, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, in a brief video on his Instagram stories on Sunday night apologized to fans and other competing fighters who have been affected by the change.
“I wanted to take the time out to apologize to fans for what is going on,” Jones said. “This is a situation that is completely out of my control, but I still will man up and apologize for this happening. I realize there’s a lot of people who lost out in this situation. People came from Sweden, people came from Brazil, other fighters — I feel your guys’ frustration. Today has been a hell of a day. A hell of a day. Spent tears today because I can feel the frustration of the fans.”
Jones said he’s already “taken care of” some flights and tickets to the event for “people” — he did not elaborate on what exactly that means, nor for whom he did that.
“I’m doing what I can to make this right,” Jones said. “I just want to assure you guys this is not a mistake I made, completely out of my control. I do feel your guys’ pain, and I’m sincerely sorry. Guess I’ll see some of you in California.”
Several UFC 232 competing fighters have complained about finding out about the change on social media. Other fighters have said on social media that what the UFC did — relocating the entire event on six days’ notice — is not right.
UFC 232 also features a women’s featherweight title fight between defending champion Cris Cyborg and bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes.