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Jon Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, has been making the media rounds for his longtime client Jon Jones, attempted to convince media of Jones’ innocence over his most recent failed steroid test, and spin the public narrative in his favor. He expresses nothing but confidence, even telling MMAJunkie.com that if Jones served any more time than he already has, he would consider it an outrage.
“In my mind, he’s innocent – I know it for a fact,” Kawa told MMAjunkie Radio. “So for me, there’s no way in the world these guys are going to punish him. I just don’t see how they do it. It would be an outrage to me if they suspended him longer.”
He repeated the confidence interval he gave Luke Thomas, 95%, in support of Jones’ return in 2018. Jones’ anti-doping attorney, Howard Jacobs, said no date had been set for arbitration, which would be the process Jones would need to enter should he dispute USADA’s findings.
Kawa said he’s “95 percent” sure Jones will fight in 2018 and predicted his return would be big business, generating between 750,000 and 800,000 pay-per-view buys.
He also gave a timeline for the two hearings Jon Jones needs to navigate, USADA and the California State Athletic Commission, or CSAC.
“I’m expecting that USADA is also wrapped up (by that time),” Kawa said. “If it’s not wrapped up, I’m not sure if we push the (CSAC) hearing to March, or we still have the hearing and wait on USADA. From what I’m understanding, what USADA would like to do and we would like to do, is we’d like to have it all wrapped up by the CSAC hearing.”
Kawa’s job is to push a positive story on Jones’ behalf, but he has had help. The UFC’s Jeff Novitsky went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and gave Jones the benefit of the doubt as well, saying his tests don’t seem to indicate use. Kawa was careful to stress this narrative.
“Looking at the information they have, from what they’ve gathered, from what they told me, it doesn’t make any sense,” Kawa said. “No one understands it. You passed this test, then you failed this test that you knew was coming, and then you passed one after that. And it was such a small amount that, it came from somewhere that we just don’t know where, and it was such a small amount that it’s obvious he wasn’t trying to cheat.
“So what USADA is looking at is, how do we move forward with this? To me, it’s very simple. He’s not guilty. You’re supposed to test guys to keep the sport clean. Did it give him an advantage? The answer is no. USADA will tell you this, and the UFC will tell you this.”
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