UFC 232 Moved From Las Vegas To California After Jon Jones’ Drug Test Result

The upcoming UFC 232 has been forced to change from its scheduled event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to California after drug-testing issues facing Jon Jones.

That's according to UFC president Dana White, who told ESPN's SportsCenter that the 31-year-old American had not been granted a license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).

Journalist Ariel Helwani, who works for ESPN, has reported that the NSAC has "determined that traces of the substance that was found in his system was still there."

However, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has handed Bones the necessary license to fight in the US state.

Andy Foster, the executive director for the CSAC, told Helwani that Jones took a "surprise urine test" and had "passed that test."

"Today, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Bob Bennett announced that, in consultation with NSAC commission chair Anthony Marnell III, unarmed combatant Jon Jones will be allowed to withdraw his pending application for licensure, which was intended to clear him to fight in a major contest in Nevada later this month," reads NSAC's statement.

"After extensive analysis of Mr Jones' prior 18 months of USADA in- and out-of-competition anti-doping drug-testing results, director Bennett, chair Marnell and Mr Jones agree that he will appear at an evidentiary hearing in January.

"This will allow for a measured, thoughtful and comprehensive discussion of his anti-doping testing protocol and results and provide an opportunity for the NSAC to determine the appropriate path forward for him in Nevada. We look forward to this hearing."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has also released a statement on Twitter.

"USADA informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on Thursday that a urine sample collected by USADA from Jon Jones in an out-of-competition test session on December 9, 2018 was reported Thursday by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City to contain an extremely low level of 4-chloro-18-nor-1713-hydroxymethy1,17a-methyl-5a-androst-13-en-3a-ol (M3), a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), or another chlorine-substituted anabolic steroid," the statement reads.

"This is the same substance that was detected in Jones' positive test from July 28, 2017 and for which he received a 15-month sanction from an independent arbitrator under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. After examining the scientific literature on this substance and the extensive testing history on Jones and consulting with leading scientific experts, USADA has concluded that the extremely low level of DHCMT in Mr Jones' December 9, 2018 sample is consistent with residual amounts from his prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned.

"USADA has also concluded that consistent with the prior finding by the independent arbitrator, at these extremely low levels, Jones obtained no performance enhancement from this level. The level reported was at approximately 60 pg/mL and there was no parent drug or other metabolites of the drug in his sample. As a result of these findings, USADA has determined that Mr Jones is not facing a violation per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

"As always, sanctioning bodies for each hosting state have jurisdiction over fighter participation and -- taking all facts into account -- are able to come to their own conclusions under their rules. We are confident after consideration of all the evidence and based on science that the resolution of this result under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy is consistent with USADA's mandate and in the interests of justice."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

SPORTbible reported in October that Jones, who wants to fight WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, would return to the octagon for a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.

The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion's recent drug-related result has been met by fierce criticism from Daniel Cormier, who has taken to Twitter to brutally slam his rival and former opponent.

UFC 232 will be held on 30th December.

Who will win out of Jones and Gustafsson?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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