Free for now, free for now. Thank God almighty, Jon Jones (pictured) is free for now.
Jones will battle champion Daniel Cormier in just 23 days at UFC 197 in hopes of reclaiming the light heavyweight crown that was stripped from him following April’s felony hit-and-run arrest where a pregnant motorist suffered a broken arm. Today, however, Jones was battling Judge Michael E. Martinez in a Albuquerque courtroom to reclaim his freedom after spending the past three days in the comforts of cell #26 after getting arrested Tuesday for parole violation for last week’s drag racing citation.
Jones was granted his release from Metropolitan Detention Center after admitting to probation violation during Thursday’s hearing at New Mexico Second Judicial District Court, but additional provisions were added to the existing 18-month probation sentence he was issued in September after copping a plea for the hit-and-run charge.
“Bones” must now attend anger management and driver improvement courses, as well as execute 60 additional hours of community service.
In addition, Jones now needs approval from his probation officer whenever he wants to drive.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office tried to slap Jones with a a nightly curfew from 10PM to 4AM, but Judge Martinez shot down the stipulation after Jones’ legal team rebuffed.
As far as fight fans are concerned, the most important thing to come out of today’s hearing, outside of Jones being freed, is that there were no travel restrictions placed on him, so he is clear to promote and fight on April 23 in Las Vegas.
Before breaking court, Judge Martinez warned the troubled Jones that “it won’t go well” for him if he’s seen back in court on another driving violation.
The UFC has taken a wait-and-see approach with Jones’ latest arrest, allowing the legal system to do it’s thing first. The promotion has yet to issue a statement following today’s ruling, but it’s safe to say UFC 197’s main event is a-go.
Jones was pulled over last Thursday around midnight and received five tickets – drag racing, exhibition driving, weaving, failing to properly display his license plate, and modifying the exhaust pipe on his Corvette.
A heated Jones was video taped denying any wrongdoing while disrespecting the police officer along the way, calling the “pig” a “despicable” “f**king liar.”
Jones was placed on 18-months probation in September after copping a plea to the felony hit-and-run charge. The UFC reinstated Jones the following month and officially announced his rematch with Cormier in February.
Jones is no stranger to problems behind the wheel. He was just cited in January for driving without a license, registration or proof of insurance.
In May 2012, Jones was arrested 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.
A year before that, Jones was picked up in Albuquerque for driving on a suspended license.