Coach: 'No one beats Jon Jones but himself'
When Jon Jones looks back on his fall from the top of the UFC rankings, he'll only have one man to blame:
Still listed as interim champion on the promotion's web site, Jones was removed from their light heavyweight and pound-for-pound lists on Sunday, in the wake of a USADA violation that could sideline him for two years.
His coach Mike Winkeljohn appeared on a recent episode of Submission Radio, and while he couldn't provide an update on the appeal, Winklejohn is optimistic that the 29-year-old fighter can salvage his career, so long as he stays out of his own way.
"I've always said no one beats Jon Jones but himself," Winklejohn said according to Bloody Elbow's Zane Simon. "That's it. And he's got many, many years to keep going and figure this out, if he's got the opportunity to, and if it turns out that he's able to."
Jones was set to re-establish himself as the greatest fighter in the sport at UFC 200, when he was granted a main event unification bout opposite his rival Daniel Cormier. It would have been Jones' second fight since returning from suspension, stemming from a 2015 hit-and-run incident.
Instead, he was busted from an out-of-competition drug test three days before the July 9 event, and removed from the card. Jones and his team are arguing that the fighter unknowingly ingested a tainted supplement, an excuse that Winkeljohn hopes is enough.
"We've gotta be careful. Everyone's gotta be careful," Winkeljohn said. "Everything you put in your body, no matter who gives it to you, you can't just take whatever, because you never know what's in there, what it's tainted with, what's going to come up on a drug test.
"And I don't think he would have done anything out of the ordinary to try to do a performance enhancer type situation, but what's going on is apparently something's tainted and hopefully that's what's going to come out here soon and then hopefully all this bad talk about Jon Jones will start going away and we'll get him back to fighting."
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