MMA star Jones stripped of UFC title after drugs ban


Los Angeles (AFP)

Mixed martial arts star Jon Jones, suspended for a year after testing positive for a banned drug, has been stripped of the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight interim title, UFC president Dana White said Wednesday.

White told an ESPN podcast that Jones "has blown it in every way, shape and form a guy with that much talent can blow it."

"Greatest talent ever and the biggest screw-up ever," White said of the 29-year-old, who was handed a one-year ban after taking a sexual-performance pill tainted with a performance-enhancing substance.

The US Anti-Doping Agency announced the ban on Monday, saying it will be applied retroactively to the date of the positive test and that Jones will be free to fight again in July of 2017.

Jones was dubbed the interim champion in April, when he defeated Ovince St. Preux at UFC 197. He had been scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier for the official title, but Cormier pulled out with an injury.

"It doesn't make sense with all the stuff that is going on for him to still be the interim champion," White said.

Jones was already serving a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a positive test conducted in June for clomiphene and Letrozole, both testosterone-boosting drugs.

In 2015, the UFC stripped Jones (22-1) of the official title after he was arrested on a hit-and-run charge.