Jon Jones’ (pictured) life is spiraling out of control. He’s young, rich, famous, and as the most decorated light heavyweight champion in UFC history, lives with a sense of invincibility – if not entitlement.
The controversial 27-year-old is facing felony charges after allegedly causing a three-car accident after running a red light. One of the cars carried a pregnant woman who suffered a broken arm and wrist.
Car accidents happen every day. That’s why they’re called accidents. However, instead of sticking around to make sure everyone was safe and exchange insurance information, Jones opted to head for the hills … literally.
Jones reportedly took off not once, but twice because he forgot a “large handful of cash” in his rental car the first time he bolted so he returned for it before bouncing again.
What Jones didn’t stuff in his pockets was the marijuana and marijuana pipe. He left that behind for the police to discover.
This incident comes nearly five months after cocaine was found in Jones’ system during a random, out-of-competition drug test. Jones later admitted he “got caught with his pants down” by doing coke the day before the Nevada Athletic Commission showed up at his door, which was only 31 days prior to his successful title defense against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.
UFC president Dana White said, “If you did it during a training camp, there’s a problem.”
Jones claimed he didn’t have a cocaine issue. He even admitted himself into rehab, but was released 24 hours later after doctors agreed with him.
The UFC docked Jones $25,000 for breaking their Fighter Code of Conduct for his positive test. A slap on the wrist for the multimillionaire.
Of course, let’s not forget Jones was arrested in May 2012 for driving while intoxicated in New York after wrapping his $190,000 Bentley around a telephone pole. After pleading guilty, Jones was fined $1,000 and had his driver’s license suspended for six months.
Following Jones’ latest hiccup, the UFC is now at a crossroads. What do they do with Jones, who is arguably the best player in the game that’s just entering the prime of his career.
Do they fire Jones for continuing to tarnish their brand? Of course not, especially since rival Bellator MMA will be waiting with arms wide open. Like it or not, talent wins out and superstars – no matter what sport – will always get a second (or third, or fourth…) chance.
Former UFC star and current “UFC Tonight” analyst Kenny Florian said Jones should not only be yanked from UFC 187 on May 23, where he’ll defend his throne against Anthony Johnson, but also stripped of his title if everything in the police report holds true.
Now that’s interesting. UFC 187 is the most star-studded lineup the company has arranged in quite some time. Removing the featured attraction would hurt the UFC in the short-term, but would benefit them in the long-term by sending a message to Jones and the other athletes on their roster.
Speaking of sending a message, taking Jones’ belt from him would really hit him where it hurts.
For now, the UFC is reserving comment until all of the facts are gathered. However, the proof appears to be in the police report pudding.
What’s the point of having a UFC Fighter Code of Conduct if there aren’t going to be serious repercussions when rules are broken?
Your move, UFC. Whatever you decide could not only save Jones’ career, but possibly his life.