Jon Jones-Mending Bones
“Mr. Jones, you got real lucky.” Judge Charles Brown’s words rang out in Albuquerque's Second Judicial District Court. The former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones plead guilty to a felony count of leaving the scene an accident on September 29. With his conditional discharge and sentence of 18 months of probation, Jones is on the path to redemption.
As a part of his sentence, Jones will be required to make a series of appearances (72) to speak with youth about his rapid ascension to the upper echelon of MMA and his ensuing fall from grace.
New York-based attorney and Inside MMA Legal Correspondent, Amy Dardashtian said, “The judge said...You're going to contact all of the grade schools, all of the mixed martial arts academies and you're going to talk to them and tell them how hard you worked to get to where you got and how one bad decision, basically took it all away...The judge really wanted to use Jones’ celebrity status to try to make a difference."
The pregnant victim of Jones’ April hit-and-run incident suffered just a broken arm as far as injuries go, so to say that the troubled now former champion dodged a bullet would be an obvious understatement. Dardashtian also reported that Judge Brown didn’t put any travel restrictions on Jones and that legally his is allowed to return to work, meaning that he could return to the UFC at a moment’s notice.
While Jones is still serving a suspension from the UFC, these recent developments have put that situation under review.
I initially viewed the sentencing (as apparently many have) with a certain degree of disappointment, as Jones getting off easy thanks to that celebrity, but it all comes back to the judge. Color me skeptical- at least presently- as to whether Jones is genuine. All I’ll say is that if the gravity of the situation hasn't hit him yet, hopefully reliving it 72 times will allow something to sink in/
What I refuse to do is sit here and say, “JONES DESERVES JAIL TIME! HE COMMITTED A FELONY! He’s famous so...blah...blah...blah." All that does is continue the discussion of useless hypotheticals. Jones committed a felony only to later surrender himself to authorities, which was the best possible thing for him to do. His victim was pregnant but, as mentioned, only suffered a broken arm. That’s all there is to it.
In large part, this situation has been put to rest. That’s why we can talk about a proposed rematch with interim champ, Daniel Cormier. Cormier said on the most recent edition of Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour that he wants TWO more fights with Jones.
This trilogy represents Jones being able to pull his names from the mud; for Cormier it’s about validation.
I will say in defense of Jones that Mike Tyson is a different Mike Tyson now and is widely loved again. Track and Field star Marion Jones (no relation) worked her way back from disgrace after lying to the federal government, look it up. Rebounding is possible.
Jones deserves to return and will. If the UFC wishing to uphold his suspension until his probation is up, it will be in April. The lesson here? “Champion” means more than a gold belt. Judge Brown wanted to make a difference; if Jon balances his success and everyday life, he will have.
Nick Diaz update: Diaz has retained lawyers offered by the UFC to help his legal team. There is work on an appeal that could be filed in the coming weeks. - Inside MMA.