Following seven months of silence, UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are back on speaking terms after they had a conversation this week.
Jones remains on provisional suspension after testing positive for the steroid Turinabol following his last fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. Jones originally won the bout by knockout but the decision was later overturned to a no contest due to the positive drug test.
Since that time, Jones has stayed fairly quiet while awaiting his upcoming hearings with the California State Athletic Commission and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to find out what potential punishment he may face for the doping infraction.
While it’s no secret that White and Jones haven’t exactly had the best relationship in the past, it appears they are at least talking again after having a chat on Wednesday.
“Jon and I talked yesterday for the first time since his fight [at UFC 214],” White revealed when speaking to TMZ on Thursday. “He sounds good and he says he’s looking at positive things right now and just focusing on training.”
Jones will go before the California commission on Feb. 27 where he’ll get the first indication on when his career can continue but he’ll still have to wait on a verdict from USADA before booking any fights. Because Jones tested positive for a banned substance previously in 2016, which resulted in a one year suspension, he could face up to a four year sanction for this latest violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
Of course, Jones would like to find out that his time off will be far less than that as he’s already been training recently in hopes of returning in 2018.
“He wants to come back absolutely,” White said about Jones. “I don’t know [about 2018]. That’s up to USADA, I’ve got nothing to do with that.”
Because Jones is considered one of the greatest fighters of all time not to mention his drawing power on pay-per-view, White would love to have him back sooner rather than later but there’s no telling what sort of sanctions he could face for this latest infraction.
“Obviously, that would be great,” White said about potentially getting Jones back this year.
Jones will at least find out part of his fate next Tuesday when he goes before the California State Athletic Commission.