Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jon Jones Removed From UFC 200; Brock Lesner & Mark Hunt To Be Main Event

You rub your eyes but the headline across Twitter and SportsCenter has not changed. You pinch yourself, but it is not a dream. Per Jeff Novitzky, former light heavyweight champion and number one pound-for-pound UFC fighter Jon "Bones" Jones (22-1, 16-1 in UFC) has been flagged for a potential anti-doping violation by USADA, back-tracking to a test from June 16, and will not have the opportunity to get his title back from current belt holder Daniel Cormier (17-1, 6-1 in UFC) at UFC 200.
Jones, 28, has had a troubled past when it comes to drugs and making poor decisions in the public eye. More specifically, he tested positive for the primary metabolite of cocaine (benzoylecgonine) before his first meeting with Cormier at UFC 182 before later being stripped from UFC gold due to his infamous hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 27, 2015.

Earlier in 2016, and almost a year after his incident, Jones returned to the octagon in what was expected to be his second bout versus Cormier. However, an injury to DC, turned the all-time great's returning fight into an interim championship versus Ovince Saint Preux, which he won in a unanimous decision.

Following the Jones' victory and a scheduled rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz falling through thanks to "The Notorious One" failing to comply to media obligations, Bones received the mutual wish to face Daniel Cormier at this weekend's historic event. Though, now the aforementioned is also no more.

In terms of the immediate aftermath, UFC President Dana White stated Jones may receive a two year suspension from USADA, aging the latter to 30 years old before being able to compete again. For Cormier, he still very much wants to compete on the card and is willing to move up and fight at 220 or 225 pounds. Currently, a replacement is being looked for, to face-off against the active light heavyweight champion.

As when any fighter is removed from a headliner, the show must go on and the new main event of UFC 200 will be Brock Lesner (5-3, 5-3 in UFC) versus Mark Hunt (12-10-1, 7-4-1 in UFC) in the heavyweight division. Lesner's return to the promotion will remain of the three round variety, aside from it occupying the last fight of Saturday evening.

***Photo Courtesy of Getty & Yahoo Sports

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