Will Jones get the light heavyweight title back?
One of the most hyped combat sports crime stories of the year seems to have come to an end. Jon Jones appeared in court, pled guilty to one felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, amd was given eighteen months supervised probation with 72 speaking appearances. If for any reason you never heard of an accident that brought Jones to court, here’re the facts: driving a rental SUV in Albuquerque, NM on April 27, 2015, Jones run the red light and collided with two other vehicles. Jones ran away and left an injured pregnant woman behind. Later police found a pipe with marijuana in Jones’ car. After an arrest warrant was issued against Jones and the light heavyweight champ turned himself in to the Albuquerque Police Department, UFC stripped Jones off his title, removed him from the official rankings, and suspended him indefinitely.
Almost half a year later Jones appeared in court and pled guilty during the hearings which UFC president Dana White attended. “I am here to accept full responsibility for what happened, and I hope you can give me an opportunity to redeem myself,” Jones said to Judge Charles Brown of the Second Judicial District Court. The former champion was given a relatively mild punishment – he didn’t just avoid the jail, but his eighteen months probation can also end earlier. Besides, Jones avoided such restrictions as travelling out of the state and possessing a firearm.
Later Jones issued an official statement on Facebook, which said: “I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me. My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility. I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it”. This public act of repentance would probably make the coldest heart melt if it were the first time Jon Jones had drug problems and apologized for that.
While fans were discussing Jones’ possible comeback to the octagon, UFC brass demonstrated they are pretty far from giving their prodigal son a friendly hug. UFC official statement is much less poetic than that of Jones but very clear: “UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition”.
Actually, getting back to fighting is not what Jones needs right now. Just like anyone else, we would love to see him in action ASAP but let’s face the truth – if the guy comes back, fights, wins back the title and then gets back to his old tricks, this would be a great disappointment for fans and a hard strike for UFC public image. We don’t want this to happen, UFC doesn’t want this to happen, Jones… well, no one really knows what Jones wants right now. Just like an old song said, ‘It’ll work itself out fine, all we need is just a little patience’.