Dana White: This Was Jon Jones’ Last Chance

Jon Jones

Last night (Tues., April 28, 2015) the UFC decided that, following a sheer outpouring of bad publicity in the fallout of Jon Jones’ felony arrest for an alleged hit-and-run accident that involved 25-year-old pregnant woman Vanessa Sonnenberg suffering a broken arm, they had no other choice but to strip the polarizing light heavyweight champion of the title, suspending him indefinitely until he gets his legal matters sorted out.

The allegations, which started out as Jones simply being wanted for questioning on a misdemeanor, turned into some much more publicly damaging when a police report surfaced detailing an odd scene where Jones supposedly fled his destroyed rental SUV, only to return for a large wad of money before leaving his marijuana, pipe, and identifying documents in the vehicle.

It was a bad look that forced the UFC into a corner and left them in a position where the only logical thing they could do was strip Jones of the title, and they did, bringing ‘Bones” most recent foe Daniel Cormier in to battle Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in Jones’ spot at the main event of May 23’s anticipated UFC 187 pay-per-view (PPV).

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And it was also just the latest in a long and disturbing series of out-of-the-cage trouble, the most recent of which was a failed out-of-competition drug test for cocaine metabolites prior to his UFC 182 win over Cormier back in January.

Add that to his previous brawl with Cormier at last August’s UFC 178 Media Day, his refusal to fight Chael Sonnen that ultimately scrapped UFC 151 in its entirety, and his DWI arrest after crashing his Bentley into a pole, and the UFC was simply at the end of its rope. Speaking up during an appearance on today’s “Sportsnation” on ESPN, UFC President Dana White said that this latest transgression was simply Jones’ last chance:

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“A lot of people know, Jon’s had a lot of chances. This one was his last chance. He’s got to handle his business outside of the Octagon and then we’ll see where he goes from there.””

Indeed he does, but the lasting damage to his already sullen reputation may be irreparable. Jones already lost his lucrative sponsorship deal with Reebok earlier this morning, and he was also removed from the official UFC rankings, where he occupied the illustrious top spot ever since Anderson Silva was knocked off his perch directly after Chris Weidman knocked him out in July 2013.

It’s that once-in-a-lifetime talent that has White and all of Jones’ fans and critics scratching their heads; the fact that he seemingly had the world in the palm of his hand but refused to keep himself in check by continuously finding himself in drug and alcohol-related trouble.

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White said that Jones was well on his way to becoming one of the best fighters in MMA history (and he may have already been there), but now he’s got a lot to figure out before he returns to the Octagon:

“Obviously he’s one of our biggest stars. He was on his way to becoming one of the greatest ever, and he’s got some legal problems he’s got to deal with now. So we suspended him, stripped him of the title, and he’s got some work to do outside of the sport. Then we’ll decide when he comes back.”

With Jones set to face not only a lengthy recovery but also possible jail time, it’s entirely up in the air as to when he will return to fighting. What kind of a mindset will he have if and when he does?