Earlier this year, former UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones was set to make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon at UFC 200, where he was to fight light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in a highly anticipated rematch for the light heavyweight title.
Unfortunately, just 48 hours before fight night, Jones was pulled from the card due to a failed random out-of-competition drug test the month prior. While Jones maintained his innocence throughout the process, it wouldn’t be until November when he was cleared of intentionally taking PEDs, with USADA determining that the failed drug test was the result of a tainted supplement. In early July of 2017, Jones will be eligible to fight again.
During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, Jones reflected on the moment he found out he had been pulled from UFC 200:
“The week of the fight, UFC 200, my manager Malki calls up me up to my hotel room,” Jones said on Rogan’s podcast, “and says ‘hey I want to talk to you, man,’” and I said ‘what’s going on,’ and he said ‘you’re not going to be fighting,’ and I said ‘what are you talking about’ and he said ‘you didn’t pass your drug test.’
“And the level of hurt and confusion and, I literally had an anxiety attack and I’ve never had one of those before,” Jones continued. “I felt like the whole room just came in on me. The whole room came down on me. I couldn’t breathe. I remember opening up the window out to the balcony so that I could breathe and realize I was not trapped.”
“I instantly started thinking about how I had the weight of the world literally on my back. I knew that I wasn’t going to be fighting hours before everyone else, the public knew. Even my own coaches were looking at me, like their hearts were on the floor. I had done so much to get back to fighting at UFC 200, getting my life in order, getting the people around me in order, getting my heart and mind into just being … even now, people look at me like I still don’t have my s**t together.”
He continued, saying:
“The only thing I did was I took a pill that I thought was going to give me a boner,” he said. “And it caused me a lot of heartache and a lot of disappointment and it just threw me back a year.”