Jon Jones' Manager, Malki Kawa, Says 95 Percent Chance He Fights in UFC in 2018

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2018

Jon Jones reacts on the scale during a weigh-in for UFC 197, Friday, April 22, 2016, in Las Vegas. Jones is scheduled to fight Ovince Saint Preux in an interim light heavyweight title bout Saturday in Las Vegas.(AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Jon Jones' manager believes the former UFC light heavyweight champion has a strong chance to return to the Octagon this year. 

Appearing on a recent episode of The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM (h/t Adam Guillen Jr. of SB Nation's MMA Mania), Malki Kawa said Jones' camp is expecting a resolution to his drug-related suspension by the end of next month:       

"By the end of this month, I think we get some clarity on the issues. We have a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission, and we're hoping to get the investigation with USADA wrapped up by then as well. 

"Hopefully, it all works out that way. I got to assume that by the end of March, for a fact, we will get this resolved and get an idea of what it’s looking like. I'd like to say about a 95 percent chance [he fights in 2018]."

Jones failed an in-competition drug test leading up to his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last July. It was his first fight back after a 15-month absence following an out-of-competition drug-test failure in June 2016, which resulted in a one-year suspension. 

The California State Athletic Commission granted Jones a stay in his case with a court date to take place at some point in February. 

Per Iain Kidd of SB Nation's Bloody Elbow, Jones is facing a maximum four-year suspension if the United States Anti-Doping Agency finds him at fault for his test failure. 

Jones originally defeated Cormier via third-round knockout to regain the light heavyweight title. The result, however, was overturned to a no-contest following his failed test, and the UFC awarded Cormier the championship. 

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