Jones was due to fight Daniel Cormier in the main event
Preparations for this weekend's UFC 200 card have been dealt an enormous blow with the new that Jon Jones has been pulled from the card due to a potential doping violation.
Jones was scheduled to face Daniel Cormier in the main event to unify the UFC Light-Heavyweight Title, but that fight has now been scrapped. The heavyweight fight between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will now main event the card in Las Vegas.
The main event for UFC 200 is Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt. pic.twitter.com/RQU5ZcBRl9— #UFCFightWeek (@ufc) July 7, 2016
The news of Jones' removal from the card was revealed in the early hours of Thursday morning, Irish time. A statement released by the organisation stated that Jones provided a potential positive test last month in preparation for the fight.
"The UFC organization was notified tonight that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 16, 2016."
Cormier revealed after the announcement that he would still like to fight in Las Vegas this weekend but wasn't hopeful of finding a replacement opponent at such short notice.
"I’ve trained hard and long. And if anyone would fight, I’d fight. But if it doesn’t make sense for the organisation or for me, then it doesn’t make sense. So I really don’t know what’s next. It’s very difficult to ask someone to come into this situation."
The news is another blow to what has been an already tense buildup to the card. The original main event between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was pulled from the card, due to the Dubliner not taking part in promotional events.
McGregor's coach John Kavanagh reacted to the news of Jones' potential violation, whilst speaking about McGregor's potential place on the card.
I wonder if there's any regret taking him off the card over a press conference now? 🤔💉💉🚫🚫— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) July 7, 2016