Just when we were starting to trust Jon “Bones” Jones, he shows again his toughest opponent is himself.
After a DWI arrest early Thursday morning on the streets of Albuquerque, N.M., Jones has gone from the GOAT to the DOAT, the UFC’s “Disappointment of All-Time.”
Look, you don’t expect those who compete in combat sports to be choirboys and Jones, the current UFC light heavyweight champion, has been given plenty of leniency over his past transgressions — a list that becomes more troubling as his life goes on.
But video of his arrest Thursday morning is so disturbing on so many levels, the UFC has no choice but to issue at least a one-year suspension to one of its most marketable stars.
It won’t be an easy decision to make, but it’s one that is necessary for Jones, the UFC, and its broadcast partner, ESPN. Jones, 32, was coming off a difficult but successful title defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8 in Houston. With four fights in 14 months, Jones looked like he could be trusted again. A potential mega-fight against Stipe Miocic for his UFC heavyweight title loomed on the horizon.
There’s little chance of that happening now after Jones’ arrest for alleged aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of an open container and no proof of insurance. According to the criminal report, officers responded to the sound of a single gunshot around 12:58 a.m. when they encountered Jones in the driver’s seat of a black Jeep.
Jones ultimately tested “at or above twice the legal limit” when administered a Breathalyzer. He also performed “poorly” on three field sobriety tests and a search of the Jeep revealed a handgun underneath the driver’s seat.
All of the above is disturbing enough given Jones’ history of bad decisions. His first DWI came in 2012, followed by an arrest on hit-and-run charges (for which he was on probation until 2018), substance abuse issues and a positive test for a banned substance that led to a 15-month suspension beginning in 2017. Before his fight with Reyes, Jones said he was drug-tested almost 30 times by USADA in 2019 to prove he was clean. Apparently, that wasn’t enough.
Perhaps most troubling about this latest incident is with the world on lockdown while trying to contain the deadly coronavirus, the UFC light heavyweight champion was out allegedly drinking, driving and perhaps shooting a gun. Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, leads New Mexico with 55 confirmed cases as of Thursday. And how does a millionaire not have proof of insurance for his car?
Jones again has become a headache to the UFC, which has been immersed in trying to keep from postponing UFC 249, which is set for April 18. Headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson for the UFC lightweight title, the card was originally set for Barclays Center before the New York State Athletic Commission prohibited it from taking place in Brooklyn due to COVID-19.
UFC President Dana White continues to insist the fight will be held without an audience at some location. He’ll deal with Jones later. For now the UFC has issued a statement saying, “The organization has been in contact with Jones’ management team and is currently gathering additional information.”
If the criminal report is even close to being true, Jones has proven himself to be not only a danger to himself but the general public at large. It’s time for the UFC to suspend him, again.