A Visibly Upset Jon Jones Addresses His Removal From UFC 200 And Apologizes To The Fans

Late Wednesday night, the fighting world was rocked with the sudden announcement that Jon Jones would be pulled from the main event of Saturday’s UFC 200 pay-per-view. His fight with Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight championship was scrapped due to a positive out-of-competition test recorded by the USADA on June 16.

On Thursday morning, Jones held a press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the site of the jam-packed UFC fight week events. He made a brief statement to open the press conference.

“I want to first start by apologizing to all the fans who came out to support me for UFC 200. Obviously the UFC [and] the Fertittas for not being able to perform. I know there’s a lot that went into this event … I want to apologize to Daniel Cormier. I know the fight meant a lot to him. The fight meant a lot to me. So I just want to apologize, sincerely. I really don’t know what to say. I just apologize for this happening.”

After the statement, Jones and his manager, Malki Kawa, fielded questions from the press. Both men denied PED allegations and Jones specifically said he was “very against performance enhancers.”

“Supposedly they found something in one of my samples that I have no clue what it is. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. I’ve been taking the same supplements for the majority of my career, and I’ve been so outspoken about being against any type of performance enhancers, I’m still to this day against performance enhancers.And so the whole things sucks because being labeled as someone who would ever cheat, it hurts more than anything that I’ve ever been through in my career. It really sucks.”

Kawa described Jones as being “emotional” and “distraught” about the situation and said the fighter would take things one step at a time. Kawa was very vague about the nature of the positive test and said he has a process he has to go through before saying more, but said that it “could be” a supplement issue. He also said “One thousand percent,” this was not a PED issue. “We got a notice last night from Jeff Novinsky that there was some sort of PED violation,” said Kawa. “We’re here this morning to basically deny that.”

“He didn’t cheat at all,” said Kawa. “He didn’t do anything wrong, or he didn’t try to do anything wrong.” Jones left the dais for a bit after becoming visibly upset while Kawa continued to field questions and said he expects they could receive the B sample from the USADA as early as Thursday night.

“There was no way for us to get [to Salt Lake City] in time [to witness B sample testing]. So none of us are going to be there. We’re here. We’re hoping it comes back negative because if it comes back negative, that changes everything. I’m going to be getting the results of the B sample tonight. That’s what I was under the impression of. That might be incorrect, but that’s what I understood.”

Jones eventually returned to the dais, and cried later during the press conference.

Kawa was asked when Jones’ last clean test was. Kawa responded, “From what I understand looking at everything and speaking to Jeff [Novinsky] he’s had eight tests under this program since December, and every one of them has come back clean except for this last one.”