Last night, International Fight Week took a major blow as Jon Jones was removed from UFC 200 for a potential anti-doping violation stemming from a USADA test administered on June 16. The UFC held an impromptu press conference to make the announcement and afterwards, it didn't take long for the takes to come rolling in. Shortly after the news broke, Chael Sonnen spoke briefly on ESPN to give his take on what was going on.
"I can just tell you guys, I've been in his shoes. As a guy that lived in that world and took the banned substances and served the suspension, if there's one thing about us, we know our own. When a guy takes his shirt off I can tell you what he's on and how long he's been doing it and my first reaction was simply, what took them so long?"
Sonnen is one of MMA's most well known PED users, having been very open about it since he was suspended in May of 2014 for failing multiple drug tests. Conversely, Jones has never failed a test for PEDs before; he was previously fined when an out-of-competition test came back positive for cocaine, but never for PEDs. However, this violation can't be for cocaine as USADA doesn't test for recreational drugs in out-of-competition testing. The banned substance Jones tested positive for hasn't been revealed yet and thus almost everything is speculative, something Sonnen admitted.
"I think we need to be real fair. I'm as emotional as anybody because I'm a fan. I'm a big fan of this thing and I was looking forward to the match. We don't have the information yet. I do think - if we're just playing the speculation - if a guy takes cocaine, a substance that could kill him, a reasonable person will assume he's going to take a substance that could help him. I think that's reasonable but I must admit it is speculation at this point."
The suggestion that recreational drug use and PED usage are correlated is specious at best, but that has never stopped Sonnen before and his penchant for saying provocative things is what earned him 3 title shots (1 against Jon Jones) and a job working as an analyst for ESPN. Perhaps this is just Sonnen trying to seize an opportunity for a rematch down the line; after all, he does come off of his suspension July 23.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Chaos. Jon Jones was pulled off of the UFC 200 card for a potential USADA violation.
Sheer. The UFC gave an official statement regarding the removal of Jones from UFC 200.
Chaos. Professional fighters react to the big tumult that happened last night.
Well, it was a good line. Before his removal from UFC 200, Jon Jones said he beat Daniel Cormier in the prime of his partying days.
Ivan Drago. Miesha Tate believes she can break Amanda Nunes in their fight this weekend.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Jackson. Jonathan Snowden wrote this incredible thing about Greg Jackson for Bleacher Report.
Jones-DC. The Naked Gambler wrote a very good piece on Jones versus Cormier 1 which now is less relevant.
Embedded is only half relevant now.
Pre 200 Presser.
Joe Lauzon doing a UFC 200 video blog.
Conor rolling for his lifestyle brand thing he just started.
Not really relevant to the influx of other news and things, but this was a nice tribute to a man taken too soon.
Heavy Hands with some more fight discussion.
Sherdog Mega Pod breaking down every fight this weekend.
And some more previews.
Last weekend, this dude made his Twitter to look like Ariel's and tweeted this. Holy hell is that coincidental.
BREAKING: Jon Jones Flagged for potential USADA Anti-Doping Violation, UFC to Issues Statement on UFC 200 title fight— #TheKing (@Izi_Garcia) July 3, 2016
This is only gonna get worse for JBJ.
This is peak MMA.
Yes I'll definitely be smooth sailing to the weigh-ins. Im having quality meals and quality workouts https://t.co/9hl9UAV7Wb— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 6, 2016
Man USADA really did a number on some of these guys— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 15, 2016
No way they should give anyone a title shot on 3 days notice. DC should absolutely sit this weekend out.
I stand corrected. I would accept this one.
Hey I'm already in town https://t.co/VEVOyvq16P— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) July 7, 2016
Worked for him once. Maybe it would work a second time. What a story that would be.
2 months, 2 weeks, 2 days...... Hmmm middle vs light heavy???? I stand by my words. I'd do it!— michael (@bisping) July 7, 2016
Nobody learning anything from Nate. It's not about asking for the fight, it's about asking how much you'll get paid.
Hey Dana sorry to hear the bad news but I'm ready to fight so give me the shot! @danawhite— Ilir Latifi (@Latifimma) July 7, 2016
Why can't we have nice things MMA?
Could Brock maybe spot Jones that USADA exemption for a night?— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) July 7, 2016
Chael is coming back to MMA. I'd bet something substantial on it.
I'd whip his ass. https://t.co/IoGMHgdgWk— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) July 7, 2016
In a nightmarish incident like this, good to know Jon Anik is still amazing.
@ItsMikeFagan Dude. Nightmare. Was about to go looking for weed on the strip. Now I gotta re-do my scripts.— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) July 7, 2016
Hopefully they still follow him around for Embedded. #UFC200— Josh Samman (@JoshSamman) July 7, 2016
This would be the new best thing in MMA history.
I would do that, and I'm available. Fly me in, I'll get in that ring. I'm not even remotely joking here. https://t.co/Q3fChYPuv0— Jon Jones (@jonjones) July 7, 2016
Hunto you magic man you.
Sage is so inspirational.
Never STOP shooting for the top! pic.twitter.com/crAL4AA9xW— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) July 6, 2016
Eid Mubarak to those who celebrated.
Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends!!! pic.twitter.com/mlSucq0fy6— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) July 6, 2016
Okay that is pretty dope.
The colored uniforms are a major upgrade. Still trash though.
Parwez Ghulam (6-2-0) vs. Curtis DeMarce (16-12-0); Unified MMA 28, September 30.
Nick Campbell (9-7-0) vs. Denny Houle (5-0-0); Unified MMA 28, September 30.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2007: Anderson Silva successfully defended his UFC middleweight championship by knocking out Nate Marquardt in the first round of the main event of UFC 73. In the co-main event that evening, Sean Sherk defended his lightweight championship against Hermes Franca winning a unanimous decision. After the fight, both fighters tested positive for PEDs. Also on this card was the UFC debut of Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, who damn near got killed by Heath Herring but managed to come back a horrible knock down to win a decision.
2012: Anderson Silva once again defended his middleweight championship, this time in a rematch against Chael Sonnen at UFC 148. This event is also notable for coinciding with the first occurrence of International Fight Week, as well as the Hall of Fame induction of Tito Ortiz.
So.......some things happened yesterday. Honestly, as I write this I am burnt out from the colossal storm that befell everyone late last night but needless to say, this sucks on just about every level. That fight won yesterday's poll about the most anticipated bout of the week by a wide margin. Really, really unfortunate especially if Jones ends up getting suspended for two years. But, silver lining, if any card could afford such a brutal loss it's this one. You still have two title fights, Brock vs. Hunt, and Cain vs. Browne not to mention Dillashaw vs. Assuncao.
But let's talk about another reason why this sucks. What the hell happens if Jones really is out for two years? Have you looked at light heavyweight recently? It is barren of good fights for Cormier. He has already beaten Gustafsson and Rumble and nobody is really clamoring for rematches there. So he can defend his title against...Glover Teixeira? Does that really get you feeling some type of way? I guess there is a built in story line with Ryan Bader if he beats Latifi but honestly, who else is there to fight that is even slightly marketable? Jones-Cormier 2 was perfect because if Jones wins, he still has the Gustafsson rematch and the Rumble fight that are appealing and if Cormier wins it sets up the rubber match for Madison Square Garden. Now we're left with a big pile of turds.
I hate the idea of Cormier accepting a short notice fight considering everything he has to lose and how devastated he looked at that press conference, but maybe what we need is Cormier versus Bisping. Cormier should dump truck Mike akin to his savaging of Dan Henderson years ago so he would still get a pay day and gets to look amazing doing it. And if Bisping somehow pulled another miracle out of his ass and took two belts off of AKA in essentially one month, there aren't even words to describe that. Just imagine Michael Bisping, perennial also ran, suddenly becoming the first person to hold two UFC belts simultaneously. He might never stop talking.
Until Hendo knocks him out again and retires as the lineal Pride welterweight, Pride middleweight, UFC middleweight, UFC light heavyweight champion, and People's open weight champion. Dare to dream kids.
Until tomorrow, M Rmy.
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