Jon Jones will be returning to the Octagon for UFC next month for the first time in a year-and-a-half when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29.
He's been out of action since July 29, 2017, which was when he fought and successfully defeated Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight title, but after a failed USADA drug test, he stripped of the win and the title.
Bones could've been suspended for four years due to it being his second PED violation, but was only handed a 15-month suspension instead since there was not enough evidence to suggest he intentionally took banned substances.
Now, with his return to the Octagon taking place in just over a month's time, Jones wants to make sure the air is clear ahead of his return regarding the PED user label he has been given over the past year.
Speaking on ESPN's First Take, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has said that he knows in his heart that he has never cheated in the sport of MMA and that he's ready for Gustafsson.
He said: "I need to be exactly who I've always been. I know in my spirit that I've never cheated the sport. USADA was able to prove that it was such a trace amount that it had no effect on my performance.
"I am the best fighter in this sport and have always been the best fighter in the sport. Nothing has changed."
Bones also once again denied that he ever knowingly took any banned substances that improved how he fought inside the Octagon.
"My last situation was a terrible situation. I did have a trace amount of steroids in my body. Thank goodness USADA went through the process to prove my innocence. Through science we were able to prove that there was a very trace amount of steroids in my body.
"One of the people said, 'The amount of steroids in Jon's body was like taking a pinch of salt and throwing it into an Olympic-sized swimming pool.'
"We have no clue how it got into my body. We did everything in our power to figure out how it got into my body and where it came from. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars for testing. We still were not able to find out where it came from."
Jones vs Gustafsson is expected to be for the UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 232, as current champion, Cormier, is expected to be stripped of the title he was awarded for Jones' second violation. He will instead focus on defending the UFC Heavyweight title.News Now - Sport News