UFC president Dana White has described the removal of Jon Jones from the main event of UFC 200 as a major blow.
“It’s super, super disappointing,” White said during a last minute press conference at MGM Grand.
RELATED: UFC statement on Jon Jones
With Jones out, the new main event for UFC 200 on July 9 will be the heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt. The fight will remain as a three-round bout, White said.
The UFC was today notified that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had informed Jon Jones of a potential anti-doping policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on 16 June, 2016.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case.
While the UFC anti-doping policy offers a full legal review process, there is insufficient time for a full review before UFC 200 and the fight has been removed from the card.
As for a possible replacement for Cormier, with only a few days before fight night, a potential suitor may be difficult, but White was not opposed to a last minute replacement, under the right circumstances.
“This is devastating to Daniel Cormier in every way it could possibly be,” White said. “It stings real bad for him. I’d like to make a fight for him if I can.”
Cormier told UFC.com that he was “very disappointed”.
“I’ve worked really hard to prepare for this. You take care of what you can take care of and that’s what I did. More than anything, I’m really disappointed.”
An equally bitter pill to swallow for Cormier is that he may never get the chance to avenge his loss to incident-prone Jones.