Jon Jones reclaimed his light heavyweight title in his return from a 17-month cage absence, stopping Alexander Gustafsson with strikes on the ground in the third round in the main event of UFC 232.
Jones (23-1, 1 no-contest) earned the victory with a methodical dismantling of Gustafsson in a rematch of Jones' toughest fight. Jones earned a thrilling decision in 2013 over Gustafsson, who tested the champion to the limits of his ability.
But in Jones' first fight since completing his second drug suspension, the star picked apart Gustafsson with kicks in the first two rounds. He got a takedown in the third and finished the fight with several brutal shots to Gustafsson's head on the ground.
The 31-year-old Jones had fought only twice in the previous 47 months, losing an enormous chunk of his fighting prime due to his misbehaviour.
During 2015 alone, he tested positive for cocaine use and was later stripped of his 205-pound title because of a hit-and-run accident in which he broke a pregnant woman's arm. He returned in early 2016, but was pulled from a title bout at UFC 200 later that year after testing positive for two banned substances often taken in concert with steroid use.
Jones returned from his first doping suspension with a stoppage of Cormier in July 2017 to reclaim his light heavyweight title, but he lost the belt again after testing positive for steroids.
Jones' latest tests revealed extremely low levels of the same substance, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it considered the results to be an echo of his previous positive test, not a new violation. California officials agreed, allowing Jones to fight in Inglewood after Nevada demanded more answers in a hearing in January.
Gustafsson was thoroughly infuriated by Jones' misbehaviour, flatly calling Jones a cheater and vowing to wreck his latest comeback. The Swede lost to Anthony Johnson and Cormier after Jones beat him, but won his last two fights to vault back into contention.