16 for 16: No. 9 Legal troubles for Jon Jones continues
December 24, 2016
It was a big year for Jon Jones. But it could have been worse.
Just weeks prior to his return to the Octagon at UFC 197, Jones was arrested for violating his probation (you may recall he accepted a plea deal for his part in a car accident with a pregnant woman). In March, he was stopped by Albuquerque Police for allegedly drag racing. The traffic stop was caught on camera. He turned himself in for the violation. Fortunately, for Jones, only modifications were made to his probation and he did not have to serve any jail time. Also, he was able to continue to train for UFC 197.
Jones returned to the Octagon in April at UFC 197 to face Ovince St. Preux after his rematch with Daniel Cormier was postponed due to a Cormier injury.
Jones and Cormier were rescheduled for UFC 200 in July as the main event. Bur, Jones was taken off the card days before the event as an out of competition drug test was flagged. As we now know, the banned substance he took was a bootleg sexual enhancement pill he received from a training partner. Jones became the first UFC athlete to take USADA to arbitration related to a flagged drug test. However, he lost at arbitration with the opinion stating that despite the fact that he may not have knowingly attempted to take a PED, he did show disregard for ingesting something for which he did not know the contents. As a result, he was given a one year ban retroactive to July 2016. Jones had hoped that he would be in the Octagon much sooner.
Jones settled the drug test infraction with the Nevada Athletic Commission by agreeing to a one year suspension as well which allows him to be on track to be back in the Octagon in July 2017.
This year’s legal issues lost him a lot of trust from the UFC. He has been given chance time and again with him saying all the right things after the problems have ended, but he always finds himself in another problem. The UFC was likely angered by having to rearrange marketing and finding a replacement so near UFC 200. Still, he is probably one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and the organization will welcome him back this July.