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Morning Report: Mike Winkeljohn: A four-year suspension could be the end of Jon Jones’ career

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Mike Winkeljohn

On Wednesday evening, Daniel Cormier spoke on UFC Tonight about being reinstated as the UFC light heavyweight champion after Jon Jones was stripped of his title by the UFC following Jones’ failed USADA test for their bout at UFC 214. Up to that point, Cormier had remained mostly quiet on the subject of Jones’ failure, waiting for the “B”sample to return in case Jones was exonerated. Then, the return of the sample confirmed USADA’s findings and prompted Cormier to remark that Jones’ most recent drug test failure might end up being a “death sentence” for Jones’ career, and it appears that some of Jones’ own coaches might agree.

Speaking with Submission Radio recently, Jones’ coach Mike Winkeljohn suggested that depending on the length of the suspension he receives, we may have seen the last of “Bones.”

“I don’t know,” said Winkeljohn. “If it’s a four-year thing, I think it could be just that kind of devastation (that ends Jon’s career), and which like I said, it’s not fair, you know? He messed up in that maybe he took something that someone said was fine, but he’s not doing it thinking, ‘I’m taking steroids or something,’ you know, and that’s the part that’s terrible. He’d be devastated at four years. Who knows, you know? That’s a long time to just spiral downhill where bad things can happen. So that one scares me. If it’s a year (suspension) Jon Jones will come back and dominate the world again, I do believe.”

While a suspension for Jones seems inevitable at this point, the length of it is very much up in the air. Jones previously failed a USADA test ahead of his scheduled bout at UFC 200 and arbitrators ruled that Jones was reckless in taking a sexual-enhancement pill that was contaminated with the two substances, suspending him for one year. As a repeat offender, Jones now faces up to a four-year suspension from the sport though another finding of lack of intent could shorten the time to considerably less. One such defense would be claiming a tainted supplement Jones ingested was the cause of the failure and it appears that his team will be arguing this.

“There’s no way [Jon took steroids]. Jon Jones had been tested multiple times going through the fight camp, he would not do something like that.

“The problem is the public perception. They think he’s got these needles and shoving steroids in his arms. Don’t get me wrong, I understand Jon has messed up in the past, he’s got caught drinking and driving, he done some bad things, he done things that are idiotic, but he’s grown up. But as far taking steroids, what he’s been busted for is taking a Viagra Cialis from Mexico that had something in it, that’s not steroids but it came up that way and if I had to guess it’s going to come out that there’s been something that he took to rehydrate himself after his cut or somewhere in that style, that time that was some kind of substance that he thought was just a supplement, that someone said, ‘hey, this will make you feel better, it’s got electrolytes in it and stuff,’ but it was tainted. And everybody thinks, “yeah, that’s just an excuse,” but no, really, that’s it, that’s what it’s going to be.”

Even if Jones can successfully argue a tainted supplement defense, he may still be facing a lengthy suspension. Winklejohn notes that supplement companies are “notorious” for shady business practices and including substances in their products not listed on the labels and arbitrators might well look down on Jones’ continued use of such products despite suffering a serious punishment for reckless behavior. It’s no wonder then that according to Winkeljohn, Jones is currently “devastated” by the results of his test.

“I saw Jon Jones two hours before he found out and he was up, he was excited. . . Two hours later, all of sudden I get a phone call and people said guess what, and I know he was devastated. I didn’t see it when he got the phone call, he was at the restaurant with one of our other coaches, but that coach told me he was just devastated, he just stopped in time and he’s pretty much since then just spent time with his family and been offline.”

“He’s in disbelief himself. He went from the highest of highs to way down in the bottom lows. It is his fault for not making sure that he takes some kind of supplement maybe if that’s what it is, but it’s just real dvisheartening because I know Jon Jones is not a cheater.”

Jon Jones’ disciplinary hearing is currently set for Oct. 17 in Los Angeles.


MUST-READ STORIES

Denial. Jon Jones responds to latest drug test issues, denies taking steroids.

Death. Daniel Cormier says Jon Jones’ drug test failure could be “death sentence.”

Rankings. Jon Jones has been pulled from the UFC rankings following title stripping.

$$$. Max Holloway wants a new contract before making his first title defense.

125. Valentina Shevchenko believes her next fight will be at 125 pounds.


VIDEO STEW

215 Rewind.

After the MMABeat.

Ahead of his return this weekend, here are some Rockhold highlights.

David Branch highlights.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Circus. Kajan Johnson and Hakeem Dawodu interviews.

Bushido Talk. Jon Jones’ ‘B’ sample and UFC 215 fallout.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

A superstitious man might say that’s a bad idea.

Jeez. I know that’s better but still.

Teasing a fight.

That 0 has to be a first, right?

Max Holloway with some WWE guys.

Unclear why Caraway took so long to respond but possibly a fight announcement soon I guess.

The man has a point.

Kajan Johnson is ragin.

Sage wisdom.

Thems fightin’ words.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jim Wallhead (29-11) vs. Warlley Alves (10-2); UFC Gdansk, Oct. 21.

Hacran Dias (23-5-1) vs. Jared Gordon (13-1); UFC Sao Paulo, Oct. 28.

Elizeu Zaleski (17-5) vs. Max Griffin (13-3); UFC Sao Paulo, Oct. 28.

Luan Chagas (15-2-1) vs. Niko Price (11-0); UFC Sao Paulo, Oct. 28.


FINAL THOUGHTS

The best boxing weekend of the year is here. Hope y’all enjoy Canelo-GGG and for those non-boxing people, I hope you like Rockhold-Branch.

Take it easy y’all and have a good weekend.


EXIT POLL

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Who wins the main event this weekend?

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  • 75%
    Luke Rockhold?
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  • 24%
    David Branch
    (321 votes)
1288 votes total Vote Now

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