Jon Jones has officially been removed from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) suspension list, clearing him to fight Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 232 this December 29 in Las Vegas.
Jones received this positive news at a CSAC hearing on Tuesday afternoon.
“I am here to support this man’s right to make a living,” CSAC director Andy Foster began at the hearing (via MMA Weekly). “My recommendation right off the bat is this man gets a license, a temporary license, while he provides a community service plan that is laid out to the commission. But ultimately, my goal as your executive officer is this man walk out of this room and he can fight Alexander Gustafsson in two and a half weeks, or however long it is, in Las Vegas.”
After the CSAC elected to give Jon Jones his license, they also recommended he enroll in additional VADA testing, subjecting himself to further testing in addition to the United States Ant-Doping Agency (USADA) testing he must already undergo as a member of the UFC roster. Jones is not required to partake in this additional testing, but after consulting with his attorney and UFC executive Marc Ratner, was “agreeable in principle” to the idea (h/t MMA Fighting).
“I know you’ve said that you’re happy USADA has established that you didn’t do this intentionally in your last test, and all of that, but you and I both know that there is a large number of people who still have some doubts, right? ”commissioner Martha Shen-Urquidez proposed to Jones. “They are out there, and it’s not just a little bit of doubt, but there are people who have serious doubts over this. So I, for one, would like to put the doubts to sleep and to put them away once and for all, and for people to believe you — that you are that talented and that you are the greatest, and that you can win a fight just clean and that this is Jon Jones, and to put those doubts away once and for all.
“So, I have this idea and I’m just going to put it out there and see if you’ll agree to it.”
This whole situation stems from Jon Jones’ July 2017 fight with Daniel Cormier. This fight originally registered as a knockout win for Jones, but that result was overturned when he tested positive for the banned substance turinabol. After months on end of deliberation, USADA handed Jon Jones a 15 month suspension for this failed test, reduced from a much longer-suspension on the basis of his cooperation in the investigation. This suspension, which was retroactive to the date of his failed test, ended in October.
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson first met in the main event of UFC 165, in 2013 in Toronto. On that night, Jones walked away with a unanimous decision win, though many fans felt Gustafsson should have been awarded the decision. Whatever the case, the bout is widely regarded as one of the best in UFC history.
How do you think Jon Jones will perform in his long-awaited rematch with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/11/2018.