Jon Jones can be back in the Octagon by summer.
As reported by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani last week, Jones and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) came to a settlement agreement for a one-year suspension. The agreement was passed unanimously by the commission Thursday at the NAC’s monthly meeting.
MMA Fighting confirmed the agreement between Jones’ team and the Nevada attorney general’s office with NAC executive director Bob Bennett.
Jones will be eligible to return to the UFC in July, one year after he tested positive for two banned substances in a USADA out-of-competition drug test prior to UFC 200. Jones was pulled from that event’s headlining title fight with Daniel Cormier when it came back just three days out that he failed the test for clomiphene and Letrozol, both anti-estrogen agents.
Jones, 29, went to arbitration in his USADA case in October and the arbitrators came down with a decision last month to suspend him for one year, retroactive to the day the positive test results came back, July 6, 2016. One year was the maximum Jones could have gotten due to the nature of the drugs he tested positive for.
The NAC will mirror the one-year suspension, meaning Jones won’t have to serve any further sanction. The former UFC light heavyweight champion was not given a fine by the NAC. Both USADA and the NAC had jurisdiction in the case, because UFC 200 took place in Las Vegas.
Jones (22-1), when active, is considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and perhaps the best of all time. The New York native came back after a UFC suspension following a felony hit-and-run arrest to defeat Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision at UFC 197 in April. Jones was in line to make at least $10 million at UFC 200 before the fight got pulled.