Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has issued his first public statements regarding Sunday’s extraordinary news about UFC 232.
The card, which will be headlined by the bout for the vacant light heavyweight title between former longtime champion Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, has been moved to the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. from the original location of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, after Jones’ Nevada Athletic Commission license was denied due to an abnormal USADA test result.
While fighters up and down the card who are having their plans reshuffled and fans who are now stuck with flights to Vegas and hotel bills certainly aren’t happy, Jones is appreciative of the efforts the UFC made to move the card.
And to that end, Jones, who has twice been suspended over failed USADA tests, issued a statement maintaining his innocence on Sunday night and thanking the California State Athletic Commission for accommodating the change:
I’m focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I'm a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Can’t bend me, can’t break me. #Champion2018— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
UPDATE: Later on Sunday evening, Jones issued an apology via an Instagram story. See the full transcript below:
“How’s it going everybody? It’s your boy ‘Bones’ Jones here. I just wanted to take the time out to apologize to the fans for what is going on. This is a situation that is completely out of my control. But I still will man up and apologize for this happening. I realize there’s a lot of people who lost out in this situation. People came from Sweden, people came from Brazil, other fighters, I feel you guys’ frustration. Today has been a hell of a day. A hell of a day. Big shock to us all. Spent tears today because I can feel the frustration of the fans and I’m going to do what I can to try to make it right for at least some of you guys. I’ve already taken care of some flights and some tickets for people. So I’m doing what I can to make this right. I just really want to ensure you guys that this is not a mistake I made. Completely out of my control. But I do feel you guys’ pain and I am sincerely sorry. Love you guys and God bless you guys and I guess I’ll see some of you in California. And that’s about it. Alright, I’m gonna try to get some sleep.”