The UFC needs to act now on Jon Jones should recent allegations prove to be true.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is back in the news and it’s not for being inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame, although that happened too.
Events currently remain unclear, but reports indicate that sometime after his UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the former UFC champion was allegedly involved in an altercation which resulted in his arrest on Friday morning for misdemeanor and felony charges.
Jones was released from Clark County Detention Center on Friday night after posting bail set at $8,000. On Saturday, the judge presiding over the case ruled that there was probable cause for the arrest, and rescheduled Jones’ first court appearance to Oct. 26 at 8:30 am.
Assuming that these recent allegations hold true, Jones seems to be once again spiraling into a pattern of erratic behavior and needs to face consequences beyond a relaxed criminal record. Jones has shown clear signs of what can only be described as an utter disregard towards human life, in both his previous vehicular offenses and his history of violence towards women.
The UFC now has a chance to set an example and create a precedent for personal accountability. While other major sporting leagues have maintained a zero-tolerance policy for violence against women; the UFC has more or less turned the other cheek on alleged violent offenders being on their roster, as fighters like Abu Azaitar and Greg Hardy remain among the promotion’s ranks.
The UFC should treat their domestic abusers the way the MLB treated Trevor Bauer, the way the NFL treated Chad Wheeler, or the way the NHL treated Slava Voynov. Each case is an example of how a professional sporting league can implement a policy that eradicates violence towards women among its athletes. Something that the UFC has failed to do, up until this point.
Whether or not the stiff arm of the law comes down on Jones this time remains to be seen, but what’s certain is that the UFC can take the steps towards putting Jones and their company in a better place, by facing these allegations head-on.
Learning from these incidents and holding the parties in question to account, rather than allowing them to continuously skirt the checks and balances of life, should no longer be accepted. As it would be an insult to the UFC fans, their employees, their athletes, and most importantly the victims of these violent crimes.
Jon Jones has a history of criminal behavior in lead up to recent charges
Jones has a criminal history that dates back almost 10 years. Jones was arrested and plead guilty to a DUI in 2012 but managed to avoid any serious charges. In 2015 Jones was involved in a hit and run incident that left a pregnant woman injured. Later that year he plead guilty to failing to remain at the scene of an accident. Jones was sentenced to 18 months probation and after numerous community outreach appearances, he managed to avoid a felony charge.
In 2019 Jones was alleged to have been involved in a violent incident with a cocktail waitress at a strip club in New Mexico. The allegations detail an altercation that saw Jones slap a young woman and put her in a chokehold while kissing her on the neck. The victim also claimed that Jones allegedly touched her after she had asked him to stop.
Jones pleaded no contest to the charges and received a 90-day deferred sentence which included a peace bond, an agreement to abstain from drugs and alcohol, and was ordered not to return to the scene of the incident.
Jones was arrested again in March of 2020 in New Mexico. Reports indicate that an Albuquerque PD officer responded to what he heard to be a gunshot. Under further investigation, the officer found Jones in the driver seat of his Jeep with signs of intoxication.
Jones was given a breathalyzer and failed, and was found with a black handgun in his possession. Jones was charged with an aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of an open container, and driving with no proof of insurance.
Later that month, Jones plead guilty to the DWI charge and accepted a plea deal to avoid the state persuing the other charges. Jones was sentenced to four days house arrest, along with a year of supervised probation. He was ordered to a minimum of 90 days in a rehab facility and was once again given community service.
These events all lead up to the most recent charges, which are also related to domestic assault and vehicular offenses.
UFC President Dana White not surprised by the latest Jon Jones arrest
UFC president Dana White spoke to the media before UFC 266 and said he wasn’t surprised by the former lightweight champions’ recent arrest.
“It’s like… it’s not even shocking anymore,” White said (h/t BT Sport). “When we bring him here it’s almost expected. You can’t even get him in Las Vegas for less than 12 hours to induct him into the Hall of Fame. It’s a problem. This guy’s got a lot of demons, man. A lot of demons.
During his appearance at the Hall of Fame ceremony, Jones spoke to FanSidedand detailed his plans to soon return to MMA and capture the UFC’s heavyweight gold.
However, these recent charges brought up on Jones make the notion of him returning to success in the UFC Octagon seem more like a fantasy at this point.