Jon Jones has one last hurdle to clear before fighting again for the UFC title he never lost in the Octagon.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion will have to go before the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for a licensing hearing Dec. 11, according to the CSAC meeting agenda posted to the commission website Friday. Jones’ license was revoked in February due to a failed drug test and he has applied to get it back ahead of his scheduled fight with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.
The CSAC hearing will be in Sacramento and Jones is expected to be in attendance, sources told MMA Fighting.
In February, CSAC fined Jones $205,000 and revoked his license after he tested positive for the banned steroid Turinabol in an in-competition drug test related to his fight at UFC 214 with Daniel Cormier. Jones beat Cormier in that title bout, which occurred in July 2017, by TKO, but the result was overturned by CSAC to a no contest and the UFC gave Cormier the light heavyweight title back.
CSAC executive officer Andy Foster said in February that the commission would wait for USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, to make a determination of suspension length and CSAC would then take that under advisement.
Jones, 31, was suspended 15 months following arbitration in his USADA case, retroactive to July 2017, back in September. The New Mexico resident was facing four years as a second-time offender. USADA shortened that potential ban to 18 months due to “substantial assistance” in another matter that Jones provided and arbitrator Richard McLaren took three months more off that, writing that he did not believe Jones intentionally cheated, citing multiple factors.
Jones has been adamant all along that he did not knowingly ingest a prohibited substance.
On Dec. 11, Jones will go back before CSAC in an attempt to get his MMA license back, with Foster appealing to the commission on his behalf. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Jones is expected to be granted his license, allowing the Gustafsson bout to go on.
After Jones’ victory over Cormier was overturned, Cormier went on to defend the title against Volkan Oezdemir back in January and then win the UFC heavyweight title over Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in July.
Cormier defended his heavyweight title successfully against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November. With no the light heavyweight title defense planned in the near future, Cormier will be stripped of the 205-pound belt, paving the way for Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, a rematch of their classic fight in 2013.