Dana White says Jon Jones will fight for the title when he returns. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Due to pending legal issues, there is no clear timetable for Jon Jones to fight in the UFC. But if and when he does return to the Octagon, it will likely be in a high stakes bout.
During a Wednesday appearance on ”The Jim Rome Show,” UFC President Dana White said that Jones would receive a shot at the light heavyweight title when he comes back to the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“He comes right back and fights for the title,” White said. “He hasn’t had the time Anderson Silva’s had, but he’s the most dominant champion. If you look at the murderer’s row of the 205-pound division that he went through, and he just went through it like a hot knife through butter, I mean he’s the man. Whenever he gets his stuff together, he can come right back and fight for the title.”
Jones is facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury for an alleged hit-and-run crash in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 26. According to an arrest warrant, Jones ran a red light in a rented SUV, hitting another vehicle driven by a pregnant woman. He allegedly then fled the scene, returning only to grab a handful of cash before leaving again. He was arrested the next day.
He made his first court appearance in Bernalillo Metropolitan Court on April 28 but did not enter a plea. A second court date has not been set. Jones was subsequently suspended and stripped of the light heavyweight title by the UFC.
Jones had been scheduled to defend the belt against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in Las Vegas on Saturday. Instead, Johnson and Daniel Cormier will square off with the vacant title on the line in the evening’s main event.
Jones was arguably the promotion’s most dominant champion since he captured the crown with a third-round stoppage of Mauricio Rua at UFC 128. The Jackson-Wink MMA representative was rarely threatened during his reign, taking victories over Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and Cormier. He was recently removed from atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings upon his suspension.