Jon Jones averted a potential four-year suspension on Thursday when an independent arbitrator issued him a 15-month suspension following his second UFC Anti-Doping Policy infraction.
Though the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had been seeking an 18-month penalty, the arbitrator determined that Jones had not intentionally cheated when he failed a drug test surrounding his UFC 214 bout with Daniel Cormier, which he had initially won. Another factor in the arbitrator's decision to reduce the sentence was Jones' substantial assistance in determining the facts of the case.
Having averted disaster, Jones will be eligible to return to active competition as of Oct. 28, 2018.
Following the final ruling, Jones issued a statement addressing the matter.
"It’s difficult to express myself at this moment, but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation. I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will," Jones wrote on Instagram.
"But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now."
It is not yet clear when Jones will return to the Octagon or even in what weight class, as he has again teased the idea of moving to heavyweight.