Jon Jones stripped of title, suspended indefinitely
Jon Jones set history on Tuesday night, and for a terrible reason.
Jones became the first fighter to have his title stripped by the UFC for disciplinary reasons. The UFC stripped Jones of his light heavyweight championship and suspended him indefinitely, which means he is out of his scheduled fight against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23 after he was charged with felonies related to a hit-and-run accident that took place Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M.
“He’s very disappointed. He’s upset. He wanted to go down as one of the greats or the greatest,” UFC boss Dana White said on “Fox Sports Live” of Jones. “He’s disappointed, but it is what it is. It is the decision we had to make.
“For us to go in and have to strip him of his title and suspend him is not fun, but you know what they say: The show must go on.”
Jones being pulled from his fight confirmed initial reports by MMA Twitter personality “Front Row Brian” who first reported about Jones’ involvement in the incident.
Jones is accused of running a red light and hitting a car driven by a woman in her 20s. A man matching his description allegedly fled the scene on foot and later returned to grab cash. Police also found marijuana in the car.
Jones was first wanted for questioning as police sought him. They later issued a warrant for his arrest on felony charges, so eventually turned himself into police Monday and made an appearance in court Tuesday. He initially was only facing misdemeanor charges, but those were upgraded when the woman’s injuries were determined to be a fractured arm and wrist.
This is not Jones’ first driving and drugs-related problems. In 2012 he crashed his Bentley into a telephone pole in New York and pleaded guilty to drunk driving. Then in January we learned that he tested positive for cocaine prior to his UFC 182 fight with Daniel Cormier.
Jones addressed his situation with a tweet sent Tuesday night:
Got a lot of soul searching to do. Sorry to everyone I've let down.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 29, 2015
Words are one thing, but actions are another. Jones needs to start behaving like a better citizen to prove he has changed. And going to rehab for just one day before leaving does not show he is serious about changing.
The UFC issued a statement on the matter and said they were suspending Jones on grounds of him violating the organization’s code of conduct.
“Jones was recently arrested in Albuquerque, N.M. on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. As a result of the charge and other violations of the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy, the organization believes it is best to allow Jones time to focus on his pending legal matters,” the organization said in a statement.
“UFC feels strongly that its athletes must uphold certain standards both in and out of the Octagon. While there is disappointment in the recent charges, the organization remains supportive of Jones as he works through the legal process.”