Jon Jones’ career needed that.
It’s been less than two weeks since Jones reunited the UFC light heavyweight belt with his waist and already the pound-for-pound great has agreed on his next outing.
Jones will defend his 205lbs title against streaking challenger Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235 in March, subject to a licence from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Thankfully from a Jones point of view, the drug tests he was forced to undergo in the dramatic week ahead of his rematch with Alexander Gustafsson have come back clean.
Jones vs. Gustafsson II was initially scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on December 29 but a drug test abnormality which showed a trace amount of the same M3 metabolite for which Jones tested positive 17 months earlier forced the entire card to change states as Nevada refused to licence ‘Bones’.
[Ctrl c] + [Ctrl v] Jon Jones overcomes controversy to lift UFC light heavyweight belt https://t.co/CAH4gnHYci
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 30, 2018
UFC 232 ultimately moved to California, Jones stopped his Swedish rival in the third round and now he is looking to put his controversies behind him.
The first step on Jones’ legacy-salvaging journey has come with the news that the drug tests administered by the California State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency around the turn of the year showed no trace of the picograms of the M3 metabolite in Jones’ system, according to a report by ESPN.
In order for Jones’ title defence against Smith to receive the green light, Jones will first need to be cleared to compete by the Nevada Athletic Commission at a hearing in Las Vegas on 29 January.