Jon Jones could be returning to the Octagon a lot sooner than many people thought, as the former UFC champ has reached a plea deal with a New Mexico court, which will keep him out of prison.
Various outlets are reporting that Jones has been sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation, and 72 public speaking appearances, after pleading guilty to a felony charge of of leaving the scene of an accident. If the 28 year-old meets all the terms of the sentence, then Jones is expected to avoid a felony conviction.
As you almost certainly know, Jones was arrested this past April, and was subsequently stripped of the light-heavyweight title. The renowned fighter, who had defended the belt eight times, was also arrested in 2012 for a DUI.
“With regards to today’s decision made by the court, 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. I apologize to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family and friends as well as my supporters. I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life.”
“The UFC organization is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition.”
It’s going to be really interesting to see what the UFC elects to do here, and when they decided to reinstate Jones (it’s pretty hard to imagine them not doing so at some juncture). Unless Jones encounters issues with a commission regarding his plea deal, one would think he could be eligible to return fairly soon. But, considering Jones has had several high profile issues now, maybe the UFC will keep him on the sidelines for a while?
Spring 2016? Winner of Daniel Cormier-Alexander Gustafsson? Looks like Rashad Evans vs. Ryan Bader may not determine who will challenge for the belt next after all?
Those fights will be part of UFC 192, which will take place this Saturday in Houston, Texas.