Jon Jones broke down in tears and was barely able to speak as he addressed the media one day after being removed from UFC 200.
“I don’t know what to say,” Jones told reporters at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Thursday morning. “I want to start by apologizing to all the fans who came out to support me at UFC 200. Obviously the UFC, the Fertittas, for not being able to perform. I know there’s a lot that has gone into this event. All the staff of the UFC and Daniel Cormier. I want to apologize to Daniel Cormier. I know this fight means a lot to him. The fight meant a lot to me and the fight’s not happening.”
Jones was flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency Wednesday for a potential doping violation.
Malki Kawa, Jones’ manager, said they planned on appealing the failed test and that the B sample was being tested Thursday.
Neither Jones nor Kawa would go into specifics about the substance Jones tested positive for but Kawa explained that it could be an issue with a supplement Jones took.
“Whatever it is I can’t even pronounce it. I’ve never even heard of it,” Jones said. “I would never take anything that would enhance my game. I would never cheat.”
Jones, who had passed seven other drug tests leading up to the fight, explained that he has been taking the same supplements for the majority of his career and has never encountered a problem with any of them.
“Being labeled as someone who would cheat hurts me more than anything else in my career,” Jones said. “I pride myself in my work ethic.”
A misty-eyed Jones had to leave the room several minutes into the press conference to compose himself before returning.
“I believe something good will come from this but right now it’s hard to see it. I’m sorry for crying,” he said. “I’m trying to be optimistic and positive about the whole situation.”
Jones added that he planned on heading home to Albuquerque to touch base with his probation officer, although Jones’ publicist explained that this incident won’t have any impact on his probation.
The soon-to-be-29-year-old had a tumultuous 2015, testing positive for cocaine metabolite in January then being suspended and stripped of his title after a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque — which is why he is currently on probation.
Jones returned to competition at UFC 197 in April, defeating Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision. Against Cormier, Jones would have had the chance to earn back the light-heavyweight title he never truly lost.
“I feel that I put in a lot of work to get back to this point but I feel like I have to re-climb a ladder,” Jones added.