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Jon Jones Post-USADA Press Conference

Matthew Wells

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Thursday morning in Studios A & B at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jon Jones and Dana White met with the media for an early morning press conference to discuss Jones’ potential USADA anti-doping violation, resulting in his removal from UFC 200’s main event.

News of Jones’ removal from the card broke late yesterday evening as Jeff Novitsky announced the Interim Light Heavyweight champion was notified of the potential USADA violation during a press conference with Dana White. The announcement sent shockwaves through the MMA community as the headliner of the biggest fight card potentially in the history of the UFC was scrapped less than 72 hours away from the event.

This morning at 8:30 AM PST, a distraught Jon Jones took the podium to share his thoughts in the wake of his removal from UFC 200.

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“I want to apologize to everyone sincerely. I’m really sorry about this happening,” said Jones who was very emotional as he took the microphone to address the situation before taking questions from the media.

Malki Kawa, Jones’ manager sat to his left to field questions that Jones was not sure how he should answer, so not to disclose any confidential information. Kawa said the B sample of the test from June is being tested today, starting off the appeal process of the potential violation.

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Jones was notified of the situation yesterday evening while going through final preparations to hit the scales before his fight with Daniel Cormier. “I was in my room getting ready to cut weight, getting ready to workout,” lamented Jones.

When asked about a message for Daniel Cormier, Jones responded while fighting back tears, “I just want to tell him I’m sorry. I know this fight meant a lot to him.” At the time of the press conference, Jones had not yet spoken with Dana White. Jones said he spoke with Lorenzo Fertitta and apologized to him about the situation. Jones said he would like to speak with Dana White as soon as he gets the opportunity to discuss the situation and apologize.

Midway through the press conference, Jones removed himself from the stage because emotions began to take over. He was fighting back tears and initially didn’t want to let it show. He returned to the stage shortly after to field more questions, yet as the press conference continued, tears began to flow freely.

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Jones was trying to be optimistic about the removal from UFC 200 as he stated, “I believe something good will come from this, but right now it’s hard to see it. I just have to keep going.” He continued,

“Adversity is not something that defeats me. I’m hard to be broken. I’m upset today but I’ll be okay.”

The former champion was adamant that he was unaware what caused the potential violation, as he explained there was nothing new he took in this camp that could have enhanced his performance. ” He explained he took the same supplements he’s taken his entire career, however, he did state, “There are a few things that have nothing to do with performance that I’ve tried.” Jones continued,

“I would never take anything that would enhance my game. I would never cheat.”

If Jones’ B sample does indeed come back positive, the former Champion would be facing a minimum suspension of two years, per the USADA guidelines. A two-year suspension would be devastating during the prime years of his athletic career, yet Jones is ready to face that head on if it indeed comes to pass. “If I do have to sit out for two years, I’ll definitely be back. I’m already thinking of the good that could happen in that time,” said Jones as he continued to fight back tears.

Having gone through his fair share of transgressions over the past couple of years, Jones stated “I’m at a point in my life where really shitty situations, I deal with them really well. It’s kind of therapeutic being up here.”

According to Jones’ camp, there is not any correlation to Jones’ probation that stems from his prior legal issues.

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Jones said he would return home after the press conference to be with his family while the appeal process plays out.

“I’m upset, but I’m thanking God in advance. Something good has to come from this.”

UFC 200 will proceed with Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt filling the main event slot on July 9.  Stay tuned to MMA Latest for further developments surrounding the appeal process from Jones.

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Angela Magana says she has been cut from the UFC

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Angela Magana announced her release from the UFC on Twitter yesterday.

The now-former UFC strawweight was 0-3, in as many contests with the promotion. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Amanda Cooper, at UFC 218, on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. A bout which she lost by TKO in the second round.

Her first opportunity arose with the UFC when she appeared on, The Ultimate Fighter 20. A #12 seed, in the tournament of strawweights, Magana lost her preliminary round bout to #4 seed, Aisling Daly. Unfortunately, her promotional debut, on The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 20, resulted in another loss. Tecia Torres defeated Magana that night via unanimous decision. The following summer, Magana fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 21. Waterson won by submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round of the bout.

Oddly enough, following her July 2015, loss to Waterson and before her final bout with the UFC, Magana seemingly instigated a feud between herself and current featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. A feud which began on social media and boiled over at the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat. Disregarding her well-documented spat with Cris “Cyborg”, Magana managed her way through a storm of misfortune on her way to UFC 218.

After falling in love with Puerto Rico while on vacation, Magana moved to the island in the fall of 2016. Her entire life followed her there, as she began to train on the island she fell in love with. The tropical paradise turned to an apocalyptic wasteland following Hurricane Maria, the category five hurricane which decimated the area. The disaster became an extreme hindrance for the strawweight.

Her UFC 218 bout became official in early October. Yet, in spite of horrendous living conditions, she powered on through the natural disaster that left her home without power, until the week of the fight. Magana took to social media to tell fans that she would not stop fighting and is currently training for her next opportunity.

 

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Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone intends to move back to lightweight in next bout

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Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (32-10 1 NC, 19-7 UFC) has been a jewel in the eyes of fight fans for quite a while. How can fans avoid gravitating to the man with the most post-fight bonuses in UFC history? The fan favorite appeared on former UFC heavyweight, Brendan Schaub and comedian, Bryan Callen’s podcast, The Fighter and The Kid, on Thursday. Cordially, the trio briefly discussed a few topics pertaining to “Cowboy”, and his combat sports career.

Schaub and Callen peppered the UFC veteran on what takes precedent moving forward, his acting career or his fighting career. Schaub asks, “So, is the plan to forget the octagon and go full Hollywood?”, a question which Cerrone scoffed at.  Schaub was referencing news the active fighter broke a few minutes earlier on the podcast; Cerrone would be co-starring with Denzel Washington in, The Equalizer 2.

Callen then followed up with his partner’s question, “See, Schaub and I, secretly, want you never to fight again, (because) you already proved everything. All we want is you to stay healthy and become an actor.”

Eventually, the group reached the topic of Darren Till, when the former fighter turned comedian, Brendan Schaub, asked, “In retrospect, the Darren Till fight, would you still have taken it?” In typical “Cowboy” style, he nonchalantly claimed he would have still taken the fight. Less than a minute later, Schaub made the point, “While you’re doing movies and traveling with your boys in RVs, guys like Darren Till are in the training room.”

Cerrone adamantly stated on what was not the first occasion, “I’m there, five years. Five years come on guys,” referring to how long he wishes to continue fighting for. After a question on how many fights he plans to schedule per year he states, “Well, I’m going back to fifty-five… I’m more focused. At seventy, I can just not train, f*ck off more… I put more into at fifty-five… Let’s do it, man…let’s go back have a couple more fights. Yea, I won’t take like twenty a year anymore, I’ll probably take it down a little bit”.

“Cowboy” is coming off a three-fight losing streak, after falling to young prospect Darren Till but, prior to his past three fights, Cerrone had only lost once since late 2013. As many fans know, he is an active fighter. Since November of 2013, he has fought sixteen times. On that list, are wins over Benson Henderson, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Rick Story.

With over forty professional MMA fights, and a budding acting career, it looks like Donald Cerrone is doing exactly what he should. It is a bit sad to see one of the great modern fighters begin to close out his career. Yet, like Callen and Schaub, I imagine anyone who calls them-self a “Cowboy” fan, wants to see the talented Denver, Colorado-based fighter walk away with health and a new promising career.

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Sijara Eubanks out of TUF 26 Finale, Roxanne Modafferi steps in on short notice

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Sijara Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC)  is out of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion finale. In her absence the UFC has announced that #1 ranked TUF 26 semifinalist, Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will be stepping up to fight Nicco Montano for the inaugural women’s flyweight championship.

Modafferi lost to Eubanks in the very last episode of TUF, she was then set to fight fellow castmember Barb Honchak in the finale that takes place on December 1. Early Thursday afternoon, Sijara has forced to pull out of the fight giving Roxanne the opportunity to fight for the championship against Nicco Montano

UFC released an official statement about the change courtesy of MMA Junkie “Due to medical issues, Sijara Eubanks, was hospitalized Thursday morning and has been pulled from her bout against Nicco Montano at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Stepping in for Eubanks to fight in the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship bout will be Ultimate Fighter 26 semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi.”

Honchak will now likely be facing TUF 26 alternate Lauren Murphy on December 2. Murphy lost her opponent Priscila Cachoeira after Cachoeira failed to get a visa for the fight.

Eubanks has taken to her personal Instagram to put out a statement to her fans. In the post, she writes, “First of all, I’m a champion. Point blank. I will be UFC champion, but it’s God’s will that it won’t be Friday night. I’m a gangster and I’ve cut more weight than most male fighters, and unfortunately, there were some miscalculations this cut, no excuses, I worked my ass off and went out on my shield. I was hospitalized early this morning for kidney failure but best believe I’ma be right back training and right back after that belt. This game is full of ups and downs, true champs know that and bounce back. Nicco and Roxanne I’m sure will have a great fight and best wishes to both those ladies. True class, those two. Nothing changes, I’m still the queen and I will claim my throne.
Thank you to all my coaches, friends and family and the wonderful staff at UFC.
God is good and I am truly blessed.”

The entire fight card to date is as follows:

  • Roxanne Modaferri vs Nicco Montano
  • Emily Whitmire vs Gillian Robertson
  • Barb Honchak vs Lauren Murphy
  • Ariel Beck vs Shana Dobson
  • DeAnna Bennett vs Melinda Fabian
  • Rachael Ostovich vs Karine Gevorgyan
  • Montana De La Rosa vs Christina Marks
  • Sean O’Malley vs Terrion Ware
  • Eric Spicely vs Gerald Meerschaert
  •  Joe Soto vs Brett Johns

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale “A Champion Will Be Crowned” is still set to take place Dec.1st at The Park Theater, Paradise Nevada.

 

 

 

 

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