UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones is facing felony charges and was released on bail today as reported by MMA Fighting this morning.
This after a hit and run that left at least one person with a broken arm Monday. Jones turned himself in to Albuquerque PD the day of the accident.
The second high profile controversy Jones finds himself in less than a year and not the UFC Champions first brush with the law. In 2012 tmz reported Jones was charged with a DUI after crashing his Bentley into a pole in Binghamton, New York.
Earlier this year, MMA Junkie reported the Nevada State Athletic Commission was aware benzoylecgonine, cocaine’s primary metabolite, had been detected in Jones’ system weeks before he headlined UFC 182 on January 3.
MMA Fighting reported the UFC knew Jones had tested positive for cocaine before the title bout and allowed the event to go on because it had not been deemed a banned substance out of competition, and didn’t inform Jones until after his successful defense.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo sports received this statement from the Light Heavyweight Champ before Jones entered rehab:
“With the support of my family, I have entered into a drug treatment facility. I want to apologize to my fiancée, my children, as well as my mother, father, and brothers for the mistake that I made. I also want to apologize to the UFC, my coaches, my sponsors and equally important to my fans. I am taking this treatment program very seriously. Therefore, at this time my family and I would appreciate privacy.”
Dana White had this to say about Jones at the time:
“I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility. I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”
The UFC did fine Jon Jones $25,000 for his testing positive for cocaine but never even considered cancelling UFC 182, let alone stripping him of his title.
Now Jones finds himself facing felony charges and the UFC is still
yet to decide whether he’s even off the card at UFC 187 on May 23.
As it stands, Dana White has been very lenient in disciplining Jones’ abhorrent behavior. It might be time for him to finally drop the hammer down on “Bones” and give him a much needed reality check.
Jon Jones is a young athlete in the prime of his life who’s dominant in a sport like no other. He’s not the first sports star to make mistakes and though stripping him of his title may come as a shock at first, it’s not like he won’t just end up cleaning up his act and coming back to dominate the division any how.
It may affect pay per view and ticket sales over the next year or so, but such a move by the UFC is ultimately better for the sport of MMA, oh, and Jones’ health and well-being too, maybe.
Last night Bleacher Report reported the UFC had stripped Jon Jones of his title and suspended him indefinitely. Daniel Cormier will now step in to face Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.
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