Count UFC President Dana White among those in support of Jon Jones and an imminent return to the UFC. White recently went on the record that he does not believe Jones took steroids. Strong words, considering that the former UFC light heavyweight champion tested positive in June for clomiphene, an estrogen blocker, and letrozole, an aromotase inhibitor. Both substances commonly are used to recover after steroid use.
During a recent interview with TMZ, however, White said the following:
"He was accused of taking the drug that you take when you're getting off steroids ... and it's looking now like it's not the case. He did not take that drug. He took something else that had it in it.
"I'm a little happier now that he wasn't taking that drug and that I now believe that he wasn't taking steroids ... but still, you can't put anything in your body without notifying USADA or the Nevada State Athletic Commission."
That positive drug test, which was taken from an out-of-competition sample, forced Jones out of his scheduled light heavyweight title bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, just three days before the event was scheduled to take place.
If Jones is reinstated, he won't be going into an immediate rematch with Cormier if the champion has anything to say about it. In the lead-up to UFC 202. Cormier tweeted he would face the winner of the fight between Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira. Johnson, following his first-round KO of Teixeira, reinforced that statement.
Since beating Cormier by decision on Jan. 3 of last year at UFC 182, Jones has endured a staggering fall from grace as the long-reigning UFC champion and top pound-for-pound fighter for the promotion. He was stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely for his involvement in a hit-and-run incident. He returned to action this April, when he defeated Ovince St. Preux by decision at UFC 197 to win the interim light heavyweight championship.