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UFC 200 shocker: Jon Jones flagged by USADA; Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt new main event


During an impromptu press conference Wednesday night, UFC president Dana White announced that Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt is the new main event for UFC 200.

The reason? Interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation. Because the procedure part of this review cannot be completed by Saturday, Jones' fight with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has been taken off the show.

Lesnar vs. Hunt will remain a three round fight. 

White said he was informed by USADA that Jones was tested on June 16, but was unclear what the violation was for. He hasn't spoken to Jones or his agent Malki Kawa as of this point. He also didn't know why the test results took nearly a month to get back.'

"This is devastating to Daniel Cormier mentally, physically and financially," White said.

Cormier was going to get a percentage of the PPV revenue which, for a show that may do record numbers, would be several million dollars. White said he was unclear how Cormier would be compensated considering the amount of money that he makes. Cormier was in attendance at the presser, but the press conference feed was cut off after White spoke.

UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitsky made a brief statement, saying noted that USADA will handle results management, potential hearings and due process on the matter, and whatever legal review process is necessary before any sanctions are imposed.

White said they found out just a short time ago and wanted to alert the media to the annoucement as soon as possible. Matchmaker Joe Silva isn't even aware of the situation as he's on a flight. White's hope would be that someone would step up to fight Cormier on super short notice, but isn't sure what's about to happen.

There were no other light heavyweight fighters booked on the show, and the closest thing to a possibility would be Gegard Mousasi, a middleweight contender who is fighting Thiago Santos. However, Mousasi is getting ready for a fight in a 20 pound lighter weight class. Our Tom Lawlor, a Las Vegas resident who fights at 205, has begun petitioning for the fight on Twitter.

The UFC released the following statement:

The UFC organization was notified tonight that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jon Jones of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on June 16, 2016. 

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. 

However, because Jones was scheduled to compete against Daniel Cormier this coming Saturday, July 9 in Las Vegas, there is insufficient time for a full review before the scheduled bout and therefore the fight has been removed from the fight card. As a result, the three-round heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will become the UFC 200 main event.

Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Ticket refunds available upon request at primary point of purchase.