Good Evening
Good Evening
SportsMixed Martial Arts

Jon Jones stripped of UFC light heavyweight title, suspended indefinitely

UFC strips Jon Jones of title

Jon Jones was stripped of his UFC light heavyweight championship, the mixed martial arts promotion announced on Tuesday night.

Jones, who grew up in Endicott, New York, also was suspended indefinitely by the UFC.

Considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist, Jones was arrested Monday night in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Sunday morning and faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injuries.

"He wanted to go down as one of the greats or the greatest," UFC president Dana White said Tuesday night on Fox Sports Live. "He's disappointed, but it is what it is. It is the decision we had to make."

Jones was scheduled to defend his title at UFC 187 in Las Vegas on May 23 against Anthony Johnson. He has been removed from the fight, and Johnson now will face Daniel Cormier for the vacant title. Jones made his eighth consecutive title defense, a UFC record for the light heavyweight, against Cormier last January.

"Got a lot of soul searching to do. Sorry to everyone I've let down," Jones tweeted Tuesday night.

Jones is the first UFC champion in its 21-year history to be stripped of a title for disciplinary reasons.

"For us to go in and have to strip him of his title and suspend him is not fun," White said.

White later said on "UFC Tonight" that there are no guidelines set for Jones' return.

According to police, witnesses said that Jones ran from a crash Sunday that hospitalized a pregnant woman but quickly came back to grab "a large handful of cash" from the car.

The accident occurred in southeastern Albuquerque just before noon Sunday when the driver of a rented SUV ran a red light, police said. The driver, whom an off-duty officer identified as Jones, ran from the scene but then returned for the cash before fleeing again.

Officers found a pipe with marijuana in the SUV as well as MMA and rental car documents in Jones' name, according to the police report.

"UFC feels strongly that its athletes must uphold certain standards both in and out of the Octagon," the UFC said in a statement. "While there is disappointment in the recent charges, the organization remains supportive of Jones as he works through the legal process."

In 2012, Jones was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after crashing his Bentley into a telephone pole in Binghamton.

Last December, Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites in an out-of-competition test. He was allowed to compete at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015, where he beat Cormier. After news of the positive test became public, Jones gave a public apology and checked into a drug-treatment center. He checked out a day later.

With AP

New York Sports