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 >>
UFC President Dana White thinks there’s a realistic chance Floyd Mayweather could have a UFC fight. Would he win? That’s a different story. read news >>
During the UFC 223 Pre-fight Press Conference on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White made it official. Conor McGregor has been stripped of his lightweight belt. read news >>
Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is ready to resume his UFC career. UFC president Dana White announced on Wednesday that Lesnar plans to resume his fighting career in the near future with a r read news >>
UFC President Dana White joins the show and discusses UFC 223: Khabib vs. Holloway, Tony Ferguson's injury, Conor McGregor & more. Also, #1 UFC Featherweight Brian Ortega joins Jim and Matt in-studio read news >>
Now UFC President Dana White is certain that Brock Lesnar will fight again inside the octagon. read news >>
Though he admitted that UFC Hawaii was on tap for 2018, UFC president Dana White then revealed that it got shot down. read news >>
UFC president Dana White isn't ready to confirm Colby Covington facing Rafael dos Anjos in May but now it seems to make sense why that fight is happening with Tyron Woodley out until August. read news >>
UFC president Dana White says an arrest warrant has been issued for lightweight champion Conor McGregor after an altercation at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday. "There is a warrant out fo read news >>
UFC president Dana White is extremely upset following Conor McGregor's backstage melee at the UFC 223 Media Day on Thursday, telling TMZ Sports that he thinks his superstar is going to jail. read news >>
UFC President Dana White said if McGregor is expecting any kind of a figurative bailout from him, it won’t be coming. read news >>
According to UFC President Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov is the UFC lightweight champion. Full stop. read news >>
It's safe to say UFC president Dana White won't be teaming up with Showtime again any time soon. After working with the premium cable network during the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather boxing match l read news >>
UFC president Dana White did not rule out the possibility of Conor McGregor fighting in September when asked Saturday night. read news >>
As much as UFC president Dana White would welcome Floyd Mayweather to the Octagon, bringing that "greasy, slimy rat" from Showtime along for the ride would not fly. read news >>
UFC president Dana White on Wednesday stated that he believes Nick Diaz, who will soon return from a suspension, is interested in returning to the Octagon. read news >>
UFC president Dana White says Dustin Poirier is definitely in the conversation for the fighter who will challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title next. read news >>