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Light-heavyweight champ Jones approved for UFC 235 bout

The MMA star will be required to be drug tested at least twice a month until the event.

Jon Jones: had to compete in California last time out.
Jon Jones: had to compete in California last time out.
Image: Imago/PA Images

REIGNING UFC LIGHT heavyweight champion Jon Jones was given a one-fight license Tuesday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to compete against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in March.

After more than three hours, officials granted the rare license but attached several conditions for Jones if he wants another bout in Nevada.

The 31-year-old American will be required to be drug tested at least twice a month until UFC 235, then comply with a similarly rigorous testing schedule for the remainder of 2019 in order to fight in Nevada again.

Jones tested positive for trace amounts of a long-term metabolite of the anabolic steroid Turinabol multiple times in 2018, then tested negative in four consecutive drug tests from September to November before another positive test last month.

That prompted UFC to move its 29 December show from Nevada, which would not license him after the positive, to California, where Jones was allowed to fight on short notice with extra drug testing, as California officials concluded the new positive tests and others with trace amounts before the fight were from a 2017 violation for which he had served a 15-month suspension.

Jones, a three-time banned fighter, recaptured his title with a third-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson.

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Now his future depends on staying clean outside the Octagon as well as how he performs inside it.

“This is on you. It’s on your shoulders,” commissioner Anthony Marnell told Jones. “I like what I hear, I like what I see, but the proof is in the pudding.

© AFP 2019  

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