LAS VEGAS – Before Conor McGregor was slated to meet Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring, he made UFC history by becoming the first fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two weight divisions.
And light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, it seems, may have just missed a chance to reach a similar achievement.
“We were talking about Jones fighting at heavyweight,” UFC president Dana White said in Las Vegas on Tuesday, hours after news broke that Jones had tested positive for anabolic steroid turinabol in an in-competition test.
Would that fight be against heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic?
“Probably,” White confirmed.
White didn’t go into detail as to whether the Miocic (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) encounter – which he also confirmed would have “probably” taken place at the UFC 218 card scheduled to take place in Detroit on Dec. 2 – would necessarily mean an opportunity of dual-championship for Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).
There’s always the chance, for instance, that Jones would have to vacate the 205-pound crown that he re-claimed from Daniel Cormier. In any case, the idea of Jones making the move up isn’t exactly new – in fact, betting lines were open after he called out former heavyweight champ and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.
There’s still, of course, a lot that can happen stemming from Jones’ positive test. And White has made that clear. But it’s hard to miss his mournful tone when discussing his hopes for the fighter in the upper division.
“He’s the best ever, in my opinion,” White said. “He had the potential to move to heavyweight and fight heavyweights. If you look at Cormier – Cormier has never been beaten at heavyweight. Jones beat him twice.
“I’m not saying Jones could have reigned in the heavyweight division. But he has the size, the power, everything. He has everything to be a heavyweight champion. So, who knows what could have been. Just one of those sad stories.”
While the disappointment was palpable, White avoided going into too much detail in a fresh, to-be-continued situation. Although Jones’ second positive drug test – he’d previously been suspended for one year after a positive test for estrogen blockers was ruled to stem from tainted sexual enhancement pills – could mean a four-year hook, he’s entitled to a defense process.
How long that will take is too early to tell. UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky, who oversees the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency program, has seen developments like these take anywhere from under a month to an year to unfold.
Still, White can’t help but compare Jones’ potential to that of another UFC champion whom he’s clearly quite enthused about – and who, Novitzky informed, has been tested 13 times on the lead-up to Saturday’s boxing encounter with Mayweather.
“You look at the potential that this kid had and what he could have been,” White said. “Look at Conor right now. Look at Conor McGregor. Imagine what Jon Jones could be right now. How big he could be. How many sponsors would he have.
“Who would he be signed with that have that never signed a mixed martial artist before. List goes on and on of what could’ve been with Jon Jones. It will be a great 30 for 30 some day.”
As for how that Detroit card is going to look like now?
“I have no idea,” White said. “I’ve got to get through this weekend.”
To hear more from White, check out the video above.view original article >>