Dethroned UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has released a statement detailing his "very emotional" state after it was reported Jon Jones failed a drug test prior to their recent rematch at UFC 214.
Cormier suffered a third-round knockout defeat to Bones in Anaheim, California on July 29, and the 38-year-old gave his account of events to MMA Fighting following Jones' latest potential violation of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's policy:
"It's hard to find words to describe how I'm feeling right now. I'm disappointed to hear the news. It's very emotional.
"We as athletes are entitled to due process, and I will refrain from saying much more until I know exactly what happened.
"In my mind, on July 29, I competed and I lost. I thought Jon Jones was the better man that day. I don't know what to think anymore. I can't believe we are going through all of this again. We will see what happens next."
UFC 214 was Jones' comeback fight after serving a one-year suspension for his first USADA drug violation, having been pulled from the UFC 200 card after testing positive for two estrogen blockers, per the Guardian.
Tuesday's news mars what was viewed by the mixed martial arts community as a redemption win for Jones, and Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden took the chance to offer Cormier credit in the wake of the revelation:
Jonathan Snowden @JESnowden
So, is Daniel Cormier the best (clean) fighter in UFC history?2017-8-23 00:26:10
TMZ Sports broke the news of Jones' failed test and said the 30-year-old could face a suspension of up to four years following his potential repeat offence, posing questions as to his future in mixed martial arts.
As for Cormier, the UFC 214 defeat would be ruled a no-contest if it's determined Jones committed a violation, meaning Cormier's defeat to the same foe at UFC 182 in January 2015 would remain the only smudge on an otherwise spotless record.
The 19-2 fighter was preparing to fight Jones at UFC 200 last year before Jones was expunged from the card, and he instead beat UFC legend Anderson Silva via unanimous decision in a non-title fight.
CBS Sports presenter Nick Kostos sympathised with Cormier, whose future prospects have been opened up dramatically by Jones' latest potential overstepping of mixed martial arts law:
Nick Kostos @TheKostos
Jon Jones' face turn after the Cormier fight was totally fraudulent. His career is probably over. And I feel AWFUL for DC. He got robbed.2017-8-23 00:30:09
One would think that at 38 years of age, DC's time at the top level of the sport is finite, but an opportunity to reclaim his light heavyweight belt may have arisen as a result of Jones' failed test.