The fallout from UFC 200 just won’t stop falling. If it’s not Brock Lesnar’s drug tests or Mark Hunt’s lawsuit, there’s still Jon Jones to deal with. The former UFC light heavyweight champion – and current interim champ – was supposed to face reigning title holder Daniel Cormier in the UFC 200 main event to unify their respective titles. However, a flagged test from USADA saw Jones pulled from the bout at the 11th hour.
Just about four months later, Jones got his day in court, or at least the USADA approximation. He and his legal team reportedly went through a nearly 10-hour arbitration session at a Los Angeles law office on Monday, October 31. After the session, Jones’ attorney Howard Jacobs spoke to MMA Fighting about the process and the potential results:
“Yeah, so we had a long hearing. We were here for like nine or ten hours. And I think that the evidence all came in and we’re happy with, sort of, how the case went. And now we’re just going to wait for the decision. It’s out of our hands, now,” Jacobs said, while also reassuring reporters that the length of time isn’t unusual in these cases.
“They’ll each get together and discuss it and it’ll be… Usually the three of them all agree,” Jacobs said, speaking to the actual decision making process, “and if not, it’s the majority – usually – that decides it. But, I think all three of them will ultimately agree.”
As far as exactly why Jones decided to become the first UFC fighter to go through USADA’s arbitration process, it seems that the reasoning was two fold. First and foremost, Jones wants to get the results back before his Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing on November 10th, perhaps to use as a guideline for that process:
“Because we think that before Nevada hears the case,” Jacobs said, “it would be useful for them to see how these arbitrators have analyzed the same facts and come to the decision that they’re going to come to.”
“I think that it will be useful for Nevada to see how they’ve come to it,” he continued. “It’s the first case that’s gone to a hearing with the UFC and I think that Nevada is equally interested to see what decision they come to.”
Added to that, Jacobs also revealed that they went to arbitration because they were unable to come to an initial settlement that both sides could agree to. Hopefully for Jones, this process will produce different results.
Jones’ defense is arguing that he took a tainted supplement, unknowingly, which led to his drug test failure. He has apparently produced said supplement for USADA, and it seems they have verified the contamination. Both Tim Means and Yoel Romero ended up on the receiving end of six-month suspensions for similar claims, although neither fighter went through this arbitration process. Whether things turn out differently for Jones could provide an example for future fighters who find themselves wondering whether or not to take a settlement when tainted supplements are involved.