Jon Jones’ manager is very optimistic that his client will clear up his USADA issues soon and return to fighting this year.
After Jon Jones failed another USADA test around his UFC 214 win over Daniel Cormier in July, speculation was running rampant that the former champion might be suspended for a very long time. But despite indications from his camp and from UFC VP of Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky that his failed drug test indicated “unintentional use”, a resolution to the case still hasn’t been announced more than seven months later.
There are appears to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel though, if Jones’ manager Malki Kawa is to be believed. As a guest on The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM, Kawa stated that he’s confident things will be brought to a conclusion relatively soon so Jones can return to the cage (transcribed by MMA Mania):
“By the end of this month I think we get some clarity on the issues. We have a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission and we’re hoping to get the investigation with USADA wrapped up by then, as well,” revealed Kawa.
“Hopefully it all works out that way. I got to assume that by the end of March, for a fact, we will get this resolved and get an idea of what it’s looking like. I’d like to say about a 95-percent chance (he fights in 2018).”
Jones (22-1, 1 NC, 16-1, 1 NC UFC), who failed for a steroid called turinabol, has competed in the Octagon just four times in the last four years due to an assortment of legal and USADA-based issues. But Kawa thinks that Jones is going to be vindicated when USADA examines the entire case:
“If USADA is a respectable organization, which I think that they are, and they take all the information they compiled, all the interviews that they’ve done and all the things they’ve seen, they know for a fact that Jon Jones was not cheating and he was not intentionally taking any kind of substance. I think they know that and everybody can come to that conclusion based on the circumstances of his situation. That’s the most I am going to say at this point because it is obviously ongoing.”
Jone defeated Cormier by third-round TKO in that bout last year, but the result was switched to a No Contest and the UFC light heavyweight title was returned to Cormier in the aftermath of the failed test.