A timeline of the rise and fall of UFC superstar Jon Jones

Jon Jones reacts after knocking out Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. (Hans Gutknecht /Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

Jon Jones had steroids in his system prior to his UFC 214 grudge match against Daniel Cormier. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed this after the “B” sample from his most recent failed drug test also came back positive.

Often regarded as the greatest fighter in UFC history, Jones is now facing a suspension that could see him barred from mixed martial arts competiion for up to four years.

Jones is no stranger to controversy. He has been suspended and fined by athletic commissions, stripped of his championships by the UFC three times, and has been taken into custody on multiple occasions for incidents outside of the cage.

With that in mind, here is a timeline of the notable triumphs, trials and tribulations Jones has seen throughout his MMA career:

April 12, 2008 – Jones makes his mixed martial arts debut at age 21, defeating Brad Bernard by TKO in 92 seconds at a Full Force Productions event in Boxborough, Mass.

Aug. 9, 2008 – Just four months after making his MMA debut, Jones competes in the UFC for the first time. He improved to 7-0 as a pro by earning a unanimous decision over Andre Gusmao at UFC 87.

January 2009 – Jones is cited for “unsafe passing” while driving with his girlfriend and young child in Ithaca, N.Y. Jones’ vehicle allegedly struck a car attempting to make a left turn. There were no injuries and he was not deemed to be at fault for the minor accident.

Dec. 5, 2009 – Jones suffers the first and only official loss of his career. Jones was disqualified due to using illegal “12-to-6 elbows” on Matt Hamill.

March 19, 2011 – After steadily climbing up the rankings, Jones becomes the youngest champion in UFC history when he TKOs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 to claim the light-heavyweight title. The morning of the fight, Jones helps foil a robbery attempt in Paterson, N.J.

Nov. 24, 2011 – Jones is cited for “loss of traction” while pulling into an Albuquerque strip club. The Bentley Jones was driving was towed and Jones was taken into custody once officers on the scene learn Jones was driving on a suspended licence. Charges were eventually dropped.

May 19, 2012 – Jones is involved in a minor accident when he crashes his Bentley into a utility pole in Binghamton, N.Y., after a night of partying. His two female passengers suffer minor injuries. Jones is uninjured. He gets taken into custody after refusing to take a sobriety test. Two months later he is issued a $1,000 fine and his driver’s license is suspended six months. He is also required to complete a victim-impact panel and have ignition interlocks installed on his vehicles.

Aug. 8, 2012 – Jones becomes the first UFC athlete to land a worldwide sponsorship deal with Nike.

Aug. 23, 2012 – The UFC announces UFC 151, a pay-per-view event scheduled for Sept. 1, is cancelled after Jones refuses to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice after Jones’ original opponent, Dan Henderson, withdraws with an injury. It’s the first time in UFC history that the promotion cancels an event. Jones receives the bulk of the blame.

Sept. 23, 2013 – Jones wins a unanimous decision over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Toronto in one of the greatest title fights in UFC history and in doing so breaks Tito Ortiz’s UFC record for most consecutive light-heavyweight title defences.

Aug. 4, 2014 – Jones brawls with Daniel Cormier at a UFC 178 press event in a Las Vegas hotel.

Sept. 23, 2014 – Jones is fined $50,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and handed 40 hours of community service in Las Vegas for his role in the Cormier brawl.

Jan. 3, 2015 – Jones wins his grudge match with Cormier in the main event of UFC 182 via unanimous decision.

Jan. 6, 2015 – Jones checks into a rehab facility after it’s revealed he tested positive for cocaine metabolites during an out-of-competition drug screening prior to UFC 182.

Jan. 17, 2015 – The UFC fines Jones $25,000 for violating its Athlete Code of Conduct policy for the failed drug test.

April 27, 2015 – Jones turns himself in to Albuquerque police after a hit-and-run incident that leaves a pregnant women injured. Jones fled from the scene and marijuana was found in his vehicle.

April 28, 2015 – Jones is stripped of his UFC title and suspended indefinitely by the promotion.

Sept. 29, 2015 – Jones pleads guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. He avoids jail time but is required to serve up to 18 months of supervised probation.

Oct. 23, 2015 – The UFC reinstates Jones after the company’s lawyers review the fighter’s plea agreement.

March 29, 2016 – Jones is booked into county jail in Albuquerque for violating his probation. The week prior he was accused of drag racing and given five citations.

March 31, 2016 – Jones is ordered to take anger management and driver improvement classes for violating his probation.

April 23, 2016 – Jones returns to competition, defeating Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of UFC 197. He won an interim 205-pound title in the process.

July 6, 2016 – Jones is flagged by the USADA for a potential doping violation and is pulled from his UFC 200 main event bout with Cormier.

July 7, 2016 – Jones holds a press conference in Las Vegas and denies cheating. His manager announces they will appeal the failed test.

Nov. 7, 2016 – Jones is issued a one-year ban from USADA retroactive to the July 6 test he failed. The decision was rendered one week after a lengthy evidentiary hearing. Jones initially was facing a two-year suspension.

Nov. 9, 2016 – Jones is stripped of his interim title by the UFC. In an interview with ESPN, UFC president Dana White called Jones the “greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever.”

Dec. 15, 2016 – The NSAC officially announces Jones received a one-year suspension retroactive to the July 6 test, mirroring the punishment doled out by USADA.

July 29, 2017 – Jones defeats Cormier by third-round knockout in the main event of UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif. He breaks down in tears following the impressive victory over his respected rival.

Aug. 22, 2017 – Jones is flagged by USADA and notified of a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy stemming from a July 28 drug screening following the UFC 214 weigh-ins. The anabolic androgenic steroid Turinabol was found in his system but Jones’s manager declares they want to have the samples tested again.

Sept. 12, 2017– USADA confirms the “B” sample from his failed UFC 214 test matched the “A” sample findings.

Sept. 13, 2017– The California State Athletic Commission decides to overturn Jones’s UFC 214 win over Cormier and change it to a no-contest. Later in the day the UFC announces it has stripped Jones of his title and reinstates Cormier as 205-pound champion.


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