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Morning Report: Dana White says UFC was targeting Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic for UFC 218 before Jones’ failed drug test

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Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Tuesday, amid the media circus that is Mayweather vs. McGregor, a bombshell dropped on the MMA world: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones failed an in-competition drug test for his title winning performance at UFC 214. As a result, Jones has been provisionally suspended by USADA pending a full investigation by the California Athletic Commission

In response, yesterday UFC President Dana White held a media scrum to field questions about this latest Jones controversy and threw salt in the wound of every MMA fan who wants to see Jones compete when he answered a question about Jones rematching Alexander Gustafsson by saying that before this drug test, the UFC was looking to have Jones challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 218 in Detroit.

“Obviously, it’s brutal. It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable. I’m sure I feel the same way every one of you felt when you heard.

“We were talking about Jones fighting at heavyweight. Probably [against Stipe in Detroit].”

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani has reported that the UFC spoke to Jones’ team about the possibility of that fight, though Miocic’s team was not contacted.

Jones moving up to heavyweight is something MMA fans have been wanting to see for a long time. Widely considered to be the greatest light heavyweight of all time, and arguably the greatest fighter ever, calls for Jones to move up and compete against bigger men began following him after he ran roughshod over the 205 pound division. But Jones’ inability to stay active in the UFC due to legal troubles and a failed drug test a year ago, stalled talks of him moving up in weight. Now, with facing a potential four-year ban from the sport, Dana White says those same trouble might just end his career.

“If this ends up and he ends up getting two- or three-[year suspension] - that might be the end of his career. Talk about his legacy, that’s probably the end of his career. He might [come back] but it’s tough. How old is Jon now, 30? 33-34, trying to make a comeback again, and you look at what could have been, what he could have done, it’s sad.

“I don’t even know what to say. I always know what to say. I don’t know what to say about this one.”

Jones reportedly failed this test for the anabolic steroid turinabol, though that has yet to be confirmed. Should the prove true, turinabol carries with it a two-year suspension though Jones’ previous failures mean he could face up to four years away from the sport.

And that is just the USADA punishment. White suggested the UFC may impose a separate punishment on Jones, depending how the situation plays out. And though White has yet to strip Jones of the title, it’s clear he’s disappointed in the fighter he calls “the best ever” and his self-destructive tendencies.

“You look at the potential that this kid had and what he could have been, you know what I mean? Look at Conor right now. Look at Conor McGregor. Imagine what Jon Jones could be right now. How big he could be, how many sponsors he would have, who he’d be signed with that have never signed a mixed martial artist before. The list goes on and on about what could have been with Jon Jones. It’ll be a great 30 for 30 some day.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Again. Jon Jones provisionally suspended for failed drug test at UFC 214.

Statement. Jones’ camp has released a statement on the failed test.

Gentleman. Daniel Cormier has also released a statement on Jones’ failed drug test.

Dreams. Conor McGregor predicts first-round KO of Floyd Mayweather.

Results. Two UFC contracts were awarded at the latest edition of DWTNCS.


VIDEO STEW

Embedded 2.

Conor being Conor.

Coach Roddy vlog.

Victor Ortiz, last dude Floyd KOed, making the rounds about this fight.

It’s inevitable.

Pretty good promo.


LISTEN UP

Beatdown. Reaction to the Jon Jones drug test news.

Show Money. Discussing the business behind the MayMac fight.

Fights Gone By. Jack Slack breaking down MayMac in three parts.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Hughes is doing well.

Unsurprisingly, this tweet got brought up a lot yesterday.

Conspiracy theory.

I was just at dinner sitting next to Jon Jones when he got the phone call about this failed drug test. Supposedly the...

Posted by Frank Lester on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Reactions.

In. So in.

Poor guy.

Apparently Conor is going to have every single thing he’s ever won with him.

It's coming home,it's coming home,the victory's coming home!

A post shared by Tony Mcgregor (@mcgregortony) on

Yeah, that’s pretty bootleg to do to somebody.

USADA.

Think Sage is ever anything other than happy?


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sean O’Malley (8-0) vs. Terrion Ware (17-5); TUF 26 Finale, Dec. 1.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2014: Rafael dos Anjos knocked out Ben Henderson at UFC Fight Night 49. that same evening, Michael Bisping stopped Cung Le at UFC Fight Night 48.

2015: Max Holloway headlined his first UFC event, beating Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 74.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Yesterday was insane. The latest turn in the Jon Jones saga is crazy. And now Conor has the UFC over a barrel, even more than he already did.

3 days. Home stretch.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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