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Jon Jones Post-USADA Press Conference

Matthew Wells



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.


“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.


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.


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.


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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UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega



UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child



Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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Dhiego Lima vs. Yushin Okami added to Glendale, Arizona card



Fights, fights, fights, the world-wide leader in MMA added another fan-friendly bout to the already exciting ‘Fight Night: Glendale’ card. Two time ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finalist, Dhiego Lima takes on veteran Yushin Okami. Lima took to Instagram earlier today to announce the news.

Four days after adding an important Heavyweight clash to UFC Glendale, the promotion booked another crucial bout, in the Welterweight division. While, neither fighter ranks inside the top 15 of the Welterweight division, both sit at pivotal points in their career. In the case of Lima, he comes off a second appearance on the reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Much like his first appearance, the Welterweight made the competition finals.

Lima first appeared on the reality series during Season 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. In the preliminary round, he defeated Adam Stroup via unanimous decision (2 rounds), to earn a place in the house. From there, he submitted both his quarter-final and semi-final opponents. Lima left the Ultimate Fighter house undefeated, down the line, he did a similar thing on the 25th season of the show. He defeated Hayder Hassan, Gilbert Smith, and Tom Gallicchio, all by unanimous decision leaving the house undefeated for a second time.

Unfortunately, the inverse of his performances in the ‘TUF’ house came to fruition in the finals. In two Ultimate Fighter Finale’s, his record fell to 0-2, following Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25. What happened to be even more unfortunate, Lima’s opponent at, The Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25, Jesse Taylor, tested positive for the anti-estrogen agent clomiphene. The sample collected for the failed drug test was in an out-of-competition setting, therefor Lima’s loss to Taylor stands. The loss puts his record with the UFC at, 1-4.

A loss shouldn’t place Lima near the chopping block but, a win would greatly improve his standing with the promotion. The other half of the newly announced bout, is in a similar position.

Yushin Okami made his first appearance for the promotion at UFC 62. Okami earned the victory in his debut. The win marked his third consecutive win in the midst of a six fight win-streak. Over the course of those six victories, Okami defeated Alan Belcher (UFC 62), Kalib Starnes (UFC 64), Rory Singer (UFC 66), and Mike Swick (UFC 69). The Japanese born mixed martial artist remained on the roster for seven more years before being cut following a first round TKO loss to Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.

Okami fought for various organizations following his release, while also dropping down to Welterweight. When, in the latter part of 2017, he was called upon as a short-notice injury replacement by the UFC. Seven days before UFC Fight Night 117: St. Preux vs. Rua, one half of the main event, Maurico Rua, withdrew due to an apparent knee injury. Okami answered the call, giving him seven days to prepare for rising Light Heavyweight contender, Ovince St. Preux. The Japanese native lost the contest by submission in the opening round.

UFC Fight Night Glendale takes place in Glendale Arizona at the Gila River Arena on April 14th. The main event features Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirer.

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