UFC president Dana White believes that Jon Jones has lost up to “$15-20 million” after he tested positive for banned substances.
Jones, who is the interim light heavyweight champion, was recently suspended for a year after testing positive for Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, and Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor, in an out-of-competition drug test on June 16.
At the time, Jones was scheduled to face reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in July, but was pulled from the card just days before the event.
When asked on The Dan LeBatard Show how much money Jones has potentially lost due to this whole incident, White said: “It’s got to be…who knows. I mean, if he moved up to heavyweight and fought for the heavyweight championship, it could have been massive. It could be anywhere from $15-20 million.”
White, though, pointed out that the UFC have also lost a lot of money as a result of Jones’ positive drug test.
“We’ve lost a lot of money, left a lot of money on the table and obviously his legacy is…I’ll tell you this, too…in the history of combat sports, nobody’s ever taken this much time off and come back and looked like they did when they were younger. Even [Muhammad] Ali. So it’s going to be interesting,” White added.
White admitted that Jones paid the price for what he did, but conceded that the 29-year-old was on the fast track to UFC stardom as he has yet to be beaten in the UFC, and became the promotion’s youngest-ever champion back in 2011.
In addition to his failed drug test, Jones has been in trouble with the law on numerous occasions, most notably in 2015 when he was involved in a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Yeah, he’s definitely one of the guy’s who could have gone down as one of the greatest ever,” the UFC president said. “If you look at all the time he’s been out, he probably would have defended the title a few times. He might be fighting at heavyweight right now, who knows, but, hey man…when you do what this guy has done, you’ve got to pay the price.”
White added that he firmly believes Jones would have been able to fight for the heavyweight title were it not for the positive test.
“I think so, yeah,” he said. “I think because everybody looks at Jon Jones as the guy who was probably the best ever to do it. And the potential that he had. Who knows what fights we missed or what could have been because of all this madness.”