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Jon Jones suspended for one year, signs on for grappling match vs. Dan Henderson

Jon Jones

After failing a USADA drug test in July prior to UFC 200, the immediate fighting future for lightning rod Jon Jones got a bit clearer Monday as he was retroactively suspended for one year -- the maximum time allowed for the type of substance he failed for.

The interim light heavyweight champion had an arbitration hearing last week with USADA. Jones claimed that he received a contaminated pill from a teammate that resulted in his test failure for clomiphene and Letrozol, both banned substances under USADA policies.

While the panel did not dispute these claims, they stated that taking the pill without being aware of what was in it bordered on reckless, and found Jones to be fully at fault for the test failure.

UFC made a brief statement:

"UFC is aware of the one-year sanction levied against Jon Jones as a result of his UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation, decided by a three-person arbitration panel held on Monday, October 31, 2016. UFC has been advised that the one-year suspension commenced on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. While the decision indicates no evidence of Jones’ intentional use of banned substances, it does highlight the care and diligence that is required by athletes competing in the UFC to ensure that no prohibited substances enter their system."

Jones still has to plead his case before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which could impose further penalties. If the NAC chooses not to announce a longer suspension, the earliest that Jones will be able to fight would be July 17th, 2017.

However, on Monday's The MMA Hour, Chael Sonnen announced that Jones will grapple recently retired Dan Henderson on the December 11th Submission Underground show in Portland, OR, on The two were originally supposed to fight at UFC 151 but Henderson blew out his knee. Sonnen said Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping were also possible opponents. The match will be eight minutes under EBI rules

Grappling tends to float under typical athletic commission guidelines, hence why Jones can compete.