Jon Jones uses clean drug tests to call out UFC rivals

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was quick to use reports of his clean drug tests from his UFC 232 bout against Alexander Gustafsson to fuel his attacks on the rest of the division.

Not long after a story was posted online that his fight-night drug tests conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the California State Athletic Commissions had come back clean, Jones took to social media.

Neither screening even showed the long-term M3 metabolites of turinabol that were the source of so much controversy leading up to his third-round knockout of Gustafsson and caused the event to move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles less than a week out.

“Finished my so-called kryptonite before the championship rounds,” Jones wrote with the screen shot of an ESPN story about the results. “Absolutely no jet fuel was found on the murder scene. Alexander Gustafsson, just wanted to make sure you saw this. Seemed like that was the only thing you could focus on in our last fight.”

Jones has already lined up his next fight, a title defense against Anthony Smith at T-Mobile Arena on March 2.

That bout is contingent on Jones getting licensed for the fight when he appears in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission on Jan. 29.

He doesn’t seem to believe that will be a problem.

“Interested to hear the excuses of my next few victims,” Jones added. “Only 51 more days to go, will you be a witness?”

Jones was suspended 15 months when turinabol was first discovered in a sample he provided the night before a July 2017 win over Daniel Cormier in California. Minute picograms of the long-term metabolites were still present in recent samples due to what USADA called a pulsing effect.

Zingano files formal appeal

Cat Zingano has officially appealed her knockout loss to women’s featherweight contender Megan Anderson on the UFC 232 card in Los Angeles last month.

Zingano suffered an eye injury when Anderson’s toe caught her in the eye on an attempted kick just a minute into their bout. She covered up and retreated, prompting the referee to end the fight.

An attorney for Zingano filed a formal complaint with the CSAC seeking the result to be vacated and the fight ruled a no-contest.

A poke to the eye is considered an illegal blow under the unified rules of mixed martial arts, but there is no specific language on toe pokes.

“The language of the Unified Rules regarding eye gouging is non exhaustive and the examples listed, namely ‘eye gouging by means of fingers, chin, or elbow,’ are not meant as the only methods by which a foul may occur,” Nathan Gable wrote in the appeal. “First, the language is plainly open ended, beginning with ‘eye gouging of any kind …’ Had the Unified Rules intended to limit this foul to only the examples that followed and exclude toes from this foul, this rule would have been written with limiting language such as, ‘only eye gouging by means of fingers, chin, or elbow is illegal’ and omit the words ‘of any kind.’

“Additionally, had this rule been meant to limit this foul to only the examples that followed and exclude toes, then by the same logic, a thumb to the eye would not be foul as the rule merely mentions fingers, not thumbs.”

Zingano’s appeal is likely to be heard at a February meeting of the CSAC.

UFC deal with ESPN begins

ESPN has been ramping up for the first event of its broadcasting deal with the UFC by airing programming featuring past fights and having announcers do live reads during sports telecasts throughout the network’s channels.

It will lead to UFC on ESPN-Plus 1 on Saturday night as bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw drops down to 125 pounds to challenge Henry Cejudo for the flyweight belt in Brooklyn, New York.

The main card, which also features the official UFC debut of unbeaten heavyweight and former NFL star Greg Hardy, will stream live on the platform Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Preliminary card fights will air on ESPN at 5 with the early prelims streaming on ESPN-Plus at 3:30.

More MMA: Follow at CoveringTheCage.com and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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