Jon Jones has been removed from UFC 200 card for potential doping violation
Wow. Who saw this coming?
The most important show in UFC history has just lost its main event as Jon Jones has been pulled from the main event of UFC 200 due to a potential doping violation.
Hours after a press conference at which Jones and opponent Daniel Cormier were in attendance, UFC president Dana White announced that the interim UFC light heavyweight champion will no longer be fighting on Saturday night.
Jones was withdrawn from the UFC 200 main event due to a potential violation of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's policy in a test administered on June 16.
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt has been moved up the card to the main event slot in the wake of Jones' removal.
"Maybe someone will pop up and fight Cormier at the last minute," White said at an impromptu press conference held in Las Vegas. "Stranger things have happened."
White added that he was not made aware of the substance for which Jones tested positive.
"I don't know," he said. "Obviously, he has the chance to prove himself innocent before being called guilty. But if it's true, it's super disappointing."
Jones was scheduled to face Cormier in a unification match for the UFC light heavyweight title on Saturday night but that's no longer the case and White expressed sympathy for 'DC' who underwent the most dedicated training camp of his career in an attempt to reclaim his 2015 defeat to Jones, the only loss on Cormier's record.
"This is devastating for Daniel Cormier," White said. "Not only mentally and physically, he just went through a camp, and financially, this pay-per-view is trending to be massive, and he shares in that revenue. He's devastated."
Below reads the information released in a statement from USADA, the UFC's anti-doping partner.
"The UFC organization was notified tonight that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 16, 2016.
"USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
"However, because Jones was scheduled to compete against Daniel Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Las Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout and therefore the fight has been removed from the fight card. As a result, the three-round heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will become the UFC 200 main event.
"Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
"Ticket refunds available upon request at primary point of purchase."