Why was Jon Jones suspended and subsequently stripped of his title by the UFC?

UFC 247 Jones v Reyes
UFC 247 Jones v Reyes
Sayan Nag
Modified 05 Apr 2021

Jon Jones became the first fighter in UFC history to be stripped of his title due to disciplinary reasons. Back in 2015, Jon Jones was indefinitely suspended by the UFC after being charged with felonies related to a hit-and-run accident that took place in Albuquerque, N.M.

Jones was accused of running a red light and hitting a car driven by a woman in her twenties. A man matching his description was allegedly seen fleeing the scene on foot before returning to grab cash. The police also found Marijuana in the car.

Jon Jones was initially called in for questioning but an arrest warrant was later issued on felony charges. Although Jones was originally only facing misdemeanor charges, those were upgraded when the woman’s injuries were determined to be a fractured arm and wrist.

Claiming to have suspended Jon Jones for violating the company's code of conduct, the UFC issued an official statement which read:

“Jones was recently arrested in Albuquerque, N.M. on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. As a result of the charge and other violations of the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy, the organization believes it is best to allow Jones time to focus on his pending legal matters.”

Jon Jones was replaced by Daniel Cormier at UFC 187

Being stripped of his title also meant that Jon Jones was pulled out of his title defense against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. Replacing Jones was his arch-rival Daniel Cormier, who went on to win the vacant light heavyweight title.

Speaking of Jones'' suspension, Daniel Cormier told Ariel Helwani:

"Make no mistake about it, this is a sad day for our sport. One of the best fighters of all time has found himself in trouble again. It sucks. Despite our differences, I truly wish the best for Jon and his family, and I know he can get through this. But in life, opportunity knocks, and it's up to you to answer the door. So as I've done time again, I'm answering that door. I will be in Vegas on May 23 -- you can count on me -- I will win the belt, and then when Jon is ready to return, I will be happy to give him a shot at my belt."
Published 05 Apr 2021, 18:11 IST
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