Today, former light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, avoided jail time for his hit and run incident, which took place in Albuquerque, NM. Jones pleaded guilty and accepted full responsibility for the incident in which Jones ran a red light, struck a pregnant woman’s car, and then fled the scene only to return a short while later to retrieve cash from the wrecked rent-a-car.
The punishment that Jones received was 18 months’ probation, and a requirement that he must make at least 72 speaking appearances. Jones, who has dealt with many non-athletic issues before, stated, “I am determined to emerge a better person because of it”.
Dana White, who was present in the court room during the hearing, and the UFC have come out and said that they will investigate the Jones incident in its’ entirety before the make a decision on whether he should be reinstated or not. This whole ordeal comes on the heels of UFC 192, which will take place this Saturday. The event will feature Alexander Gustafson as he tries to knock off current light heavyweight champ, Daniel Cormier. Coincidentally, Jones has faced, and beat, both of these men, and it was Cormier who claimed the belt after it was rightfully stripped from Jones in 2015.
Hopefully this time Jones has once and for all learned his lesson, and will straighten up. Obviously, legal issues come first, but now that Jones has resolved his problems, it is time for him to finally do what he was meant to do: fight.
Jones is arguably one the most talented martial artists in the UFC, and part of being a martial artist is learning discipline and respect. Jones is now 28 years old, and it is time for him to start maturing. I think I speak for most fight fans when I say that having Jones back in the UFC, competing for a title, is only a good thing for the sport, but only if he acts like a true professional.
He will, however, be on thin ice, and one more slip up, however minute it may be, could very easily be his last shot. I am excited to see how Jones handles his renewed career, and I cannot wait to see him back in the octagon.
By Jake Cianci