Jon Jones enters guilty plea on DWI charge (Update)Posted on May 29, 2012, 04:18 PM by Mike Drahota
This morning, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones appeared in a Binghamton, New York courtroom to enter a guilty plea for his recent driving while intoxicated arrest. The plea stems from an early morning of May 19th arrest in which Jones crashed his 2012 Bentley into a pole. City Court Judge Daniel Seiden handed down a punishment that included an alcohol dependency counseling program and of course a suspended driver's license.
Jones's guilty plea shows that the fighter wants to accept the consequences for his mistake, take care of them, and move on with his incredibly promising career. Jones has been criticized heavily for the arrest, especially in the face of statements he had made which insinuated he would not be involved in a situation such as this. The champ's image has taken a hit, and making right on this issue will serve to repair it.
Dana White has said on record that Jon Jones will not be punished by the UFC, and that the organization will not implement a fighter conduct program similar to the one in place with the NFL. White admitted that Jones may have a lot to learn, and those who hastily compared him to the pound-for-pound champ Anderson Silva were wrong. It is clear that Jones made a mistake, and that his employers stand behind him full force. The question remains if this will stop Jones's seemingly unstoppable rise to the top of MMA.
Jones is scheduled to face Dan Henderson for the Light Heavyweight belt at UFC 151 in September. The fight will go on as planned, at least tentatively, and a victory over the legendary Henderson will only fuel talks of Jones as one of the best ever. Is he mentally ready to assume that lofty position?
Fuel TV's UFC Tonight released more information about what's next for Jon Jones. The champ now faces a long "legal recovery" process from his DWI incident, including built-in breathalyzer in his car, and drunk driving awareness workshops. Here's the full quote, transcribed by MMAMania.com:
"What's next for Jon is he has to stay out of trouble, between now and June 19th. He also has to take an alcohol evaluation between now and June 19th. On June 19th, he is due to appear back in Binghamton City court. That is when he will receive his plea bargain. Now, his plea bargain is essentially this: He must stay out of trouble for a year. He must undergo these sort of alcohol sensitivity classes, to understand what could happen to a victim if they do drive while impaired. He must also pay any damages that his accident caused. On top of that, he must also put something in his car called an 'ignition interlock device,' which essentially means that between now and the next year, any time he drives his car, he will have to take a breathalyzer test to make sure he is not driving while impaired. He has also had his license suspended indefinitely. If he does agree to all this, and everything's good between now and June 19th, he will not face any further charges. He won't go to jail, he just has to pay a very small fine, a maximum of $1,500."