Nevada grants Jon Jones license for UFC 235 under condition of rigorous drug testing

Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been granted a one-fight license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday, freeing him to compete in the main event of UFC 235 in Las Vegas on March 2. 

Jones, who is reported to be defending his title 205-pound against Anthony Smith, must also face random drug testing twice per month by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) until the fight. Should he seek future licensing in Nevada, Jones would also have to agree to rigorous testing through 2019, per NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell III. 

"We need this testing for a year to understand it," Marnell said during the hearing, which Jones was present for although he chose not to provide a closing statement. 

Jones (23-1, 1 NC) tested positive for trace metabolites of the banned steroid Turinabol multiple times ahead of his UFC 232 return in December, when he stopped Alexander Gustafsson in their rematch to regain his title. A test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency one day before the fight produced the same results. 

Despite a history of failed drug tests, abnormalities and personal issues outside the cage which led to him being stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title a record three times, the 31-year-old Jones was allowed to fight on Dec. 29, just six days after UFC's unprecedented decision to move the card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles after the NSAC chose not to license him. It was ruled that Jones, who also had his USADA suspension reduced from a maximum of four years to 15 months retroactive in a similarly controversial decision last fall, would not be further suspended since the metabolites were lingering in his system from a failed 2017 test after his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. The small amount of substance found in Jones' system was also ruled to have been not performance enhancing. 

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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