In the end, the United States Anti-Doping Agency handed Jon Jones a 15-month suspension for the failed drug test that caused his July, 2017 win over Daniel Cormier to be overturned. That being said, the agency was apparently contemplating a much more severe punishment: a four-year ban.
Speaking to ESPN earlier this week, Jon Jones admitted that, had USADA issued this four-year suspension, he would have asked to be released from his UFC contract so that he could fight overseas, outside the jurisdiction of the anti-doping agency.
“I was facing a four-year suspension and that was devastating,” Jon Jones said (transcript via MMA Mania). “I had to really re-evaluate a lot of things such as what I think of the sport or fighting overseas. Who am I outside of the sport? It was a major learning experience for me to go through something like what I just got out of.”