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Jon Jones Granted One-Fight License, Will Face Anthony Smith at UFC 235

January 29, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Jon Jones UFC - Chael Sonnen

Jon Jones will be able to face Anthony Smith at UFC 235 after all. The NSAC granted Jones a single-fight conditional license at their meeting on on Tuesday according to MMAjunkie, clearing the way for the fight to take place. The UFC then officially announced the fight on Twitter:

As a condition of his being licensed, Jones must submit to additional drug testing by the NSAC, which will be out of his own pocket, until the March 2 PPV. The commission will meet in February to determine the drug testing schedule, which will continue throughout 2019. NSAC Chairman Anthony Marnell told Jones, “you’re probably not going to get another license here” if he stopped the drug testing early.

“Thank you so much to USADA, thank you to Nevada State Athletic Commission, my team, the UFC, mainly the fans and everyone for sticking by me throughout this process allowing me to say my peace, allowing me to go through this process and eventually proving my innocence,” Jones said in a statement. “I’m super grateful to be back fighting in Nevada. I’m excited for March 2. It’s going to be a magnificent event and I’m just really looking forward to all the testing, looking forward to getting back in front of the fans and just putting on great fights.”

Jones is on the hot seat due to the atypical result from his drug test before UFC 232. That test showed trace amounts of turinabol, which were determined by USADA to be non-performance-enhancing. The NSAC criticized USADA for withholding the results of two tests in August and September of 2018 that showed trace amounts of the substance, which USADA executive Jeff Cook defended by saying they didn’t want to punish the Jones twice for his July 2017 positive result.

“The public ain’t buying this, and I’ll tell you, I ain’t buying this,” Marnell said. “It’s weak and it’s soft.”

The prevailing opinion of USADA as well as VADA, is that Jones’ positive test was because the truth has continued to “pulse” in his system, though it hasn’t provided any performance-enhancement.