What’s Next for Jon Jones: USADA Suspension or Daniel Cormier?
This past weekend, arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all-time Jon Jones put his light heavyweight title on the line against Thiago Santos in an incredibly close fight. In fact, many fans believed that Santos had pulled off the upset. However, two of the judges didn’t see it that way as they awarded the fight to Jones 48-47. The third judge gave it to Santos 48-47. Ultimately, Jones retained his title via Split Decision, which was much closer than most pundits and fans had predicted.
With Santos out of the way, Jones has several options for his next fight. Surprisingly, these potential opponents aren’t the only thing that MMA betting sites are listing odds for. BetOnline has a prop bet on whether or not Jon Jones will be suspended by the USADA again. This prop bet was first listed over the weekend while Jones was headlining UFC 239. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine this suspension wager and potential opponents for Jon Jones moving forward.
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2019
Will Jon Jones Be Suspended Again?
I must admit, this prop bet surprised me when I first saw it. With that said, Jones does have a history of issues with various substances and has already faced multiple suspensions.
Will the USADA Suspend Jon Jones?
- Yes (+500)
- No (-1000)
On the surface, these odds heavily favor the “No” option. The “Yes” option does offer a high return on investment. Wagering on this UFC prop bet does come with a lot of risk and very little reward.
Jones’ Suspension History and PEDs
Jones might go down as the greatest UFC fighter of all-time, but he has had his issues outside of the octagon. In fact, he’s had numerous run-ins with law enforcement and multiple PED suspensions in his past.
In 2012, Jones was arrested for a DUI after crashing his Bentley into a pole. It wasn’t the first time he’s had driving citations or accidents. From 2008 to 2011, Jones was cited for multiple traffic violations and car accidents. It’s a pattern of behavior that would continue for a few more years.
In September 2014, Jones and Cormier got into a brawl in a Vegas hotel lobby, which led to both of them being fined and having to do community service. In January 2015, Jones was fined for failing a drug test due to cocaine. But neither of these incidents were as serious as the hit and run that Jones was involved in a few months later.
On April 27th, 2015, Jones was arrested for a hit and run accident that injured a pregnant woman. He fled the scene and left behind marijuana in the vehicle. He was promptly suspended indefinitely by the UFC. Eventually, Jones would be reinstated by the promotion, but not until after he reached a plea deal with law enforcement. Jones received 18 months of supervised probation, but no jail time.
Less than a year later, Jones is arrested for violating this probation due to drag racing and receiving multiple traffic citations. He would be ordered to take driving classes and participate in an anger management treatment program.
In July 2016, Jones is pulled from UFC 200 due to a failed test with USADA. He was issued a one-year suspension. Jones comes back in July 2017 and defeats Daniel Cormier for a second time. Unfortunately, that result was overturned because he violated another USADA test and received a 15-month suspension.
Jones was eligible to return to the UFC in October of last year, but didn’t return until he fought Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in December. Unfortunately, there were issues with his drug tests once again. However, these issues had to do with reoccurring substances that seem to last in the system a lot longer than anyone previously understood. In fact, because of Jones’ USADA tests, we’re now familiar with terms like pulsating and picograms.
Ultimately, the UFC moved the PPV event from Las Vegas to California since the CSAC believed the evidence that Jones didn’t fail a new test because of a new violation. He failed or triggered a suspicious result based on substances he took in 2017, which he was already punished for.
Will Jones Get Suspended by the USADA Again?
After looking over Jones’ legal and PED issues, it’s easy to see why online betting sites listed this UFC prop bet during the pre and post-fight testing. There is a pattern that can’t be ignored. With that said, I personally hope that Jones has learned his lessons and is able to focus on legacy rather than legal issues.
To many fans and pundits, Jones is the greatest fighter of all-time. However, Jones doesn’t believe it himself. In fact, the champ believes that Anderson Silva is the greatest MMA fighter of all-time. Jones has also stated that he has more work to do before being able to take that title. That maturity gives us hope that he can stay out of trouble and stay away from PEDs. For this prop bet, I’m picking “No.”
Who Will Jon Jones Fight Next?
Now, that we have ruled out the possibility of a suspension, we can turn our focus toward Jones’ next opponent. There are multiple options for Jones and his camp. Right now, we have the following possibilities:
Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier
A trilogy fight between Cormier and Jones would be huge for ticket sales and PPV buys. These two fighters don’t like each other, and the bad blood has carried over into 2019. In fact, this is the biggest fight that UFC could make right now. The only matchup that could possibly exceed it is a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor.
The first Jones vs Cormier fight took place at UFC 182 in January 2015, and Jones was a sizable betting favorite at -240 odds. Cormier was a +145 underdog. Jones went on to win the fight via Unanimous Decision.
The highly anticipated rematch took place in July 2017, after Jones returned from his legal troubles and PED suspension. Jones won this fight as well. Unfortunately, for Jones, the result was overturned due to another failed drug test.
Since then, Cormier has heavily criticized Jones on social media and in interviews. He’s been hot and cold on the possibility of a third fight. Cormier wants to retire soon and has stated his title fight against Stipe Miocic in August could be his last pro fight. If the fans, media, and Dana White get their way, then Cormier will fight Jones one last time before retiring.
For Jones’ part, he is actually openly lobbying to fighting Cormier a third time. He would even do it at the heavyweight division and for the title:
“Me and Daniel, we’re both speaking the same thing. It’s gonna be a super fight and the only reason why it hasn’t happened is because I think the UFC’s scheduling. When the UFC’s ready for the fight, they know they have two guys who are willing and able and they’ll approach us. They’ll say ‘hey this is what you guys are going to get paid’ and I’m sure me and Daniel will be happy.”
Currently, sports betting sites don’t have odds listed for this potential matchup. However, a few months ago, MMA betting sites had odds for this fight and Jones was a big favorite at a range of -225 to -250, while Cormier was a sizable underdog anywhere from +175 to +200.
Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic
If Miocic defeats Cormier in their fight on August 17th, then Jones would consider Stipe as a potential opponent. Jones made the following comments about this possibility:
“Yeah, absolutely, I’d be willing to fight Stipe as well. I would rather fight Daniel because I feel like I have his recipe but I’d fight Stipe, too.”
We would all prefer to see a trilogy fight between Jones and Cormier, but a fight against Stipe could be very entertaining. Miocic has the boxing skills and the length to frustrate Jones.
As of now, there aren’t any betting odds for this potential fight. In the spring, online betting sites listed Jones as a significant favorite over Miocic at -225 odds, while Stipe was a +210 underdog. Miocic is considered a bigger underdog to Jones than Cormier is.
Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes
One thing fans can like about Jones is that he’s not afraid to stay in the light heavyweight division to take on rising contenders. One candidate moving quickly up the ranks is Dominick Reyes who’s 11-0 with six KO/TKO wins. Reyes last fought in March and defeated Oezdemir.
Jones, who is very active on his Twitter account, sent out the following tweet about Reyes:
Somebody ask him if he wants some smoke https://t.co/S1ILkCHTma
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 8, 2019
This could be an exciting fight if Reyes rises to the challenge. However, I would imagine that the UFC has bigger plans for Jones later this year.
A Rematch Against Santos
Thiago Santos looked strong against Jon Jones this past weekend. In fact, it was the best anyone has looked against Jones over the last few years. This performance prompted many fans and media members to ask Jones about a possible rematch against Santos.
Jones replied by saying that he would be open to facing Santos again, but after Thiago works his way back up to the front of the line. In other words, if Santos can regain the #1 contender’s spot, then Jones would have no problem facing him.
I would imagine that the odds would be closer in their rematch, but I would also expect Jon Jones to put on a better performance and win the fight inside the distance.
Final Thoughts on Jon Jones Prop Bets
Jon Jones wants to fight again this December, which would make it his third fight in a calendar year. With that said, I believe Jones would be in line to fight the winner of Cormier vs Miocic later this year. It would be a huge fight and something that could headline the UFC’s last PPV of 2019.
I know Francis Ngannou deserves a shot at the heavyweight title, but Jon Jones going for the heavyweight strap would be huge. Ideally, Jones taking on Cormier in a trilogy fight would be best for business as these two guys don’t like each other. The UFC could have a #1 contender’s fight for the light heavyweight title on the same card.
For the UFC prop bet listed above, I don’t see Jones being suspended by the USADA in the near future. He’s become one of the most tested athletes in the world, and I’m sure he’s going to remain clean for the foreseeable future.
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