During the course of his hour long interview with Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com last week, Jon Jones said, among many other things, that he felt the UFC might not have stripped him of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship had he decided he wanted to fight on at UFC 187 in May.
The UFC says that’s absolutely not true.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, UFC officials say that Jones’ claim is “100 percent inaccurate,” and that they had made the decision to strip him of the title prior to meeting with him in early May. They added that they had flown out to Albuquerque in order to both offer support and inform Jones of the decision.
Whether or not there’s any truth to Jones’ thoughts on the matter, the end result is that he was stripped of the title. He’s returning to face Daniel Cormier in 2016, and he’ll have his chance to regain the belt that was taken from him.
Penick’s Analysis: What’s amusing here is they raced to debunk this claim from Jones, but haven’t had anything to say about his comments regarding Vitor Belfort and their fight at UFC 152. Their continued refusal to address why they let Belfort fight at UFC 152 when they had an adverse flagged drug test result continues to look bad. They railed against the idea of a cover up when that wasn’t what the initial report alleged to begin with, but haven’t said anything else about it. They can’t refute the idea that they knew Belfort had a murky drug test result, because it leaked from the UFC initially, and then they threatened legal action to those who received it at the time. That’s still a more interesting take from Jones than whether they would or would not have stripped him at the time, and the UFC has continued to stay silent on that front.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]