Chances are, you haven’t talked to too many people who had their minds blown by the UFC’s decision to strip Jon Jones of the light-heavyweight title. While sure, before the move was announced, some believed the UFC might not go that route, since Jones is one of the promotion’s biggest stars, and he was scheduled to fight Anthony Johnson on May 23rd.
But, as Dana White reportedly relayed to ESPN’s Sports Nation recently, the UFC didn’t have much choice. This isn’t the first time Jones has run into legal problems or been involved in a headline grabbing scandal. According to a follow up report from MMA Fighting.com, here is some of what White had to say about the situation on the aforementioned show:
“A lot of people know, Jon’s had a lot of chances,” White said. “This one was his last chance. He’s got to handle his business outside of the Octagon and then we’ll see where he goes from there.”
“Obviously he’s one of our biggest stars,” White said. “He was on his way to becoming one of the greatest ever, and he’s got some legal problems he’s got to deal with now. So we suspended him, stripped him of the title, and he’s got some work to do outside of the sport. Then we’ll decide when he comes back.”
Unless you’re brand new to all this MMA stuff, then you know that Jones was arrested for a DWI in 2012, and in January of this year, it was announced he had tested positive for cocaine prior to UFC 182. Now that the renowned fighter’s been handed a felony charge for hit-and-run, Jones is facing up to three years in prison. The UFC would have faced a ton of scrutiny and criticism if it didn’t take these steps, regardless of the fact everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Reebok, for example, announced on Wednesday that it’s terminated its sponsorship deal with “Bones.”
So, as the MMA world waits to see what happens from here on out, either Daniel Cormier or Johnson is about to become the UFC’s first new light-heavyweight champ since 2011. That bout will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.