The UFC has stripped Jon Jones of his light heavyweight title and suspended the 27-year-old indefinitely as a result of his alleged involvement in a Sunday hit-and-run accident in New Mexico. UFC President Dana White announced the news on tonight’s edition of “FOX Sports Live.”
As a result of Jones’ (21-1 MMA, 15-1 UFC) suspension, recent title challenger Daniel Cormier (15-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will step in to face Anthony Johnson (19-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) for the now-vacant 205-pound belt in the UFC 187 main event May 23. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. White said he met with Jones and his attorney in Albuquerque, where Jones lives and trains at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA.
“He didn’t say a lot,” White said. “Obviously, he’s got to handle his legal proceedings. His lawyer didn’t say much. We basically went in there – what we wanted to find out was what the facts were. A lot of things are being said out there about what happened that day. A lot of them are untrue. A lot of them are speculation, and we wanted to hear Jon’s side of the story, and we wanted to hear what his lawyer had to say about it. “Obviously he’s very disappointed. He’s upset. He wanted to go down as one of the greats, or the greatest ever. He’s disappointed, but it is what it is. It’s the decision we had to make.”
On Monday Jones turned himself in and was arrested on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury. He posted $2,500 bail and left the Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center on Monday night, according to the facility’s website. Early Sunday morning, a 25-year-old pregnant woman’s vehicle was struck after a silver Buick SUV ran a red light, which caused the vehicle to hit a third car. A man matching Jones’ description ran from the SUV before returning, grabbing a handful of cash and fleeing again, according to witnesses.
Within the SUV, an off-duty police officer who identified Jones found a marijuana pipe, marijuana, and rental paperwork linking the vehicle to the fighter. The victim was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. However, after a medical exam, police confirmed the woman suffered a broken arm, and according to police spokesperson Tanner Tixier, that elevated the charge to a felony. Jones’ charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and fines. A misdemeanor would’ve been punishable by up to one year in jail.
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