UFC 235 is going to be super stacked.
Jon Jones, who is expected to defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith this March, has been granted a one-fight license on Tuesday in a hearing conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
With “Bones” now eligible to fight in the “Sin City,” the Jones vs Smith light heavyweight showdown will be a welcome addition to the already stacked UFC 235, which will be held at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
🇺🇸 Jon Jones cleared to headline #UFC235 🇺🇸
— Mikey Thomas (@MikeyThomasMMA) January 29, 2019
Five years after their thrilling match-up dubbed by many as the greatest fight of all time, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson went at it again in the highly-awaited headliner of UFC 232.
“Bones” passed his return fight with flying colours as he dismantled Alexander Gustafsson for the second time to recapture the UFC light heavyweight belt. Despite the controversy surrounding him, Jones showed up composed and collected to finish “The Mauler” in just the third round of their rematch.
The 31-year old fighter did not show any signs of rust despite a 17-month layoff and was in full control of the match from start to finish. Jones brought his ground game in the third, giving his opponent a solid beating, which forced the referee to call off the fight.
It was a sweet victory for the returning mixed martial artist, capping a long week of controversy with a belt on his waist. Days before his highly-anticipated comeback, he tested positive on a small trace of Turinabol, the same substance he used in a doping violation a year ago.
Last week, the reigning king of the 205-lb division was hit with another steroid-related controversy as the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency found the same trace amount of Turinabol metabolite in his system, which forced the promotion to relocate the UFC 232 to California.
The organization collected Jones’ urine sample two days before his fight against Alexander Gustaffson. The results came back last week and showed that 33 picograms of 4-chloro-18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl,17α-methyl-5α-androst-13-en-3α-ol (M3) (or DHMCT) were present in his system.
Things have been going Jones’ way recently. After winning the vacant light heavyweight strap, the California State Athletic Commission refused to sanction him for yet another failed drug test. Now, he has been cleared to star in the main event of UFC 235 on March 2 as NSAC granted him a license to compete in one UFC bout.
This is subject to passing two random drug tests per month.
“Thank you so much to the USADA. Thank you to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, my team, the UFC, and mainly the fans, everyone for sticking by me throughout this process.”
“I’m so grateful to be back, fighting in Nevada. I’m excited for March 2nd. It’s going to be a magnificent event,” said Jones in a quick interview after the NSAC hearing.
Earlier this month, reports claimed that a fight between “Bones” and Anthony Smith is being targeted to headline the star-studded UFC 235. It will be Jones’ first title-retention bid since winning the light heavyweight belt in December.
“Lionheart” earned a shot at a UFC gold after an impressive knockout of Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Moncton last October, where he also took home the Performance of the Night honour.
UFC 235 will also feature a title fight between Kamaru Usman and Tyron Woodley and other exciting matchups such as Jeremy Stephens vs Zabit Magomedsharipov, Cody Grabrandt vs Pedro Munhoz, and Robbie Lawler vs the debuting Ben Askren.
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Jon Jones)