So, Jon Jones had another run in with the law in New Mexico. The former UFC light heavyweight champion detailed his Friday night traffic stop -- in which he was cited for a number of infractions, including “drag racing” -- during a Monday interview with Ariel Helwani.
Prior to his arrest on Tuesday, Jones vehemently declared his innocence and told everyone that he was sorry for the way he reacted to the police officer, and that he probably didn’t come off the way he would have liked.
Albuquerque Police Department released body cam footage of the traffic stop later that afternoon, and Jones’ concerns were confirmed. Calling a cop a “f---ing liar” and a “pig” isn’t necessarily the way to go if you’ve got an image to uphold, especially one tarnished the way Jones’ has been over the last year.
I wrote a few weeks back that, with the recent losses of both Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, the landscape was ripe for Jones to take his place among the top draws in the sport. His ability to author a redemption story would hinge on him being able to keep his nose clean -- literally and figuratively -- and return to form when he stepped back into the Octagon.
Jones seemed to have embraced the idea that being himself and not trying to be everything to everyone. He still seems like he is on track to return to demolishing his opposition. The only problem may be his ability to get to the cage.
This is his second driving incident in the last couple of months, and though he got a pass on the first one, I’m not sure a judge is going to be so lenient this time around. He is on supervised probation for fleeing a hit-and-run accident last April, and this incident has seen him booked on a violation of that deal.
Drag racing can be a very serious charge. The fact that Jones was not cited for speeding does leave me with some doubts about the officer’s claims. With Jones’ history of vehicular malfeasance, however, it may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m sure his attorney will do everything within his power to keep Jones out of the clink, but this is going to come down to what one judge thinks.
The fact that most judges weigh a police officer’s testimony much more heavily than felons with a history of poor driving decisions doesn’t bode well for “Bones.” While I was pretty certain nothing would come from Jones’s last incident -- he was ticketed for doing 75 miles per hour in a 35 MPH zone and driving on a suspended license -- I am not so sure he will skate after his latest hiccup.
That brings us to the bigger picture. What in the hell is Jon Jones still doing behind the wheel of an automobile?
Jones has to understand that he will probably never get the benefit of the doubt again. He’s done it to himself and should take a peek in the mirror if he wants to blame anyone for his predicament. Every time he hops behind the wheel of a car at this point, he is jeopardizing his future: his future earning potential, his future as a fighter and his future as a free man.
It’s time to get Uber or Lyft or whatever other apps are out there. Hell, hire someone to drive you; you aren’t hurting for the money. Make a decision that will insure you don’t have to go through this kind of scrutiny on a regular basis.
This should be the easiest decision the man has ever made. At least four times in the last four years, Jones has had a problem with law enforcement due to his driving. One DUI, one felony hit-and-run and a pair of traffic stops for various issues including drag racing.
I’d say it is time to hang up the keys and let someone else get you where you need to be.
Greg Savage is the Executive Editor of Sherdog.com and can be reached by email or via Twitter @TheSavageTruth.