Jon Jones
Bones

USA

Ready to walk away?
Light HeavyweightUFC
May 31, 2020
Jones declared via Twitter on Sunday that he would be relinquishing his light heavyweight belt, and Ariel Helwani of ESPN later reported that Jones is sincere in those intentions.
ANALYSIS
Jones and UFC President Dana White have been in headlines for the better part of this week due to a feud regarding Jones' compensation, particularly with a proposed fight between Jones and top heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. The two sides were clearly far apart with respect to negotiations, and it seems the whole process has soured Jones enough that he's willing to walk away completely. While contenders such as Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz are waiting in the wings for a shot at Jones' belt, it was Jones himself that suggested the two fight for a belt he now considers vacant. Jones did note that he'd consider returning for a fight in 2021 against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, but even in that event, Jones and the UFC would still need to reach an agreement on his contract. This all appears to be a fluid situation that could worsen, or, as Helwani suggests, improve with as little as a phone call. If it's really the end for Jones, the controversial champion will go down as the top light heavyweight of all-time and is even in the GOAT conversation.
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Not facing discipline from UFC
Light HeavyweightUFC
May 8, 2020
Dana White indicated Friday that he has no plans to punish Jones for his arrest in March on DWI charges, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones doesn't have a date set yet to return to the Octagon, but it appears he won't have to wait any longer due to his most recent legal troubles. His next move remains unclear, however. Dominick Reyes has been calling for a rematch after fighting Jones to a razor-thin decision in February, while Jan Blachowicz also has a case for a title shot after winning three consecutive fights at light heavyweight. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has been vocal about wanting to move up to light heavyweight for a chance at Jones, while there have been rumblings about Jones moving up a weight class himself for years. There are plenty of options on the table for the reigning champion while the UFC moves to the second half of its 2020 calendar, though countless events and locations have needed late changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enters plea deal
Light HeavyweightUFC
March 31, 2020
Jones pled guilty to DWI in New Mexico on Tuesday and will be subject to 96 hours of community custody, one year of probation and 48 hours of community service as part of the deal, TMZ Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones must also complete at least 90 days of outpatient treatment after being arrested for aggravated DWI and negligent use of a firearm March 26 in Albuquerque. The 32-year-old has seen his fair share of legal trouble over the years, including a disorderly conduct charge from July and a previous DWI in 2012. The longtime champion's next bout has yet to be scheduled after retaining his belt against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in early February.
More legal trouble
Light HeavyweightUFC
March 26, 2020
Jones was arrested early Thursday morning for aggravated DWI and negligent use of a firearm, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Jones has been released from custody, but this is unlikely to be a legal situation that goes away any time soon given his history of vehicular offenses in the state of New Mexico. Of the arrest details, aggravated DWI (driving while intoxicated) and negligent use of a firearm are the most serious, but Jones may also face charges for possession of an open container and driving without insurance. Police responded to reports of gunshots fired and proceeded to locate Jones, who allegedly was in the driver's seat of his vehicle. Jones denied any knowledge of the reported gunshots, though officers -- who noted he was intoxicated and performed sobriety tests accordingly -- found a firearm underneath his seat along with a bottle of mezcal. Look for more investigation to be done before any formal charges are filed. While his fighting career is secondary at this point, Jones does not have any scheduled bouts, despite being one of the more active UFC champions of late.
Barely retains belt at UFC 247
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 8, 2020
Jones barely hung on to his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC 247 in Houston.
ANALYSIS
This fight was a heck of a lot closer than the "unanimous decision" term would lead you to believe. In fact, Reyes may have very well deserved this fight by a 48-47 score, but you have to take the belt from the champion and all these razor-thin decisions have seemed to go the way of Jones over the past many years. Jones let Reyes control the early portion of the fight before turning it on in the championship rounds. While he had his moments, Jones looked uncomfortable throughout much of the bout. He tried to get his wrestling game going but managed to land just 2-of-9 takedown attempts. Part of that was due to exceptional balance displayed by Reyes, particularly along the fence. The total strike count was 119-107 in favor of Reyes and Reyes attempted nearly 100 more (263-170) total strikes. Still, you don't go undefeated for more than a decade without having the ability to win close fights and Jones clearly has shown he can do that. Following a dominant run, Jones has looked vulnerable in his past two bouts. He barely defeated Thiago Santos last July and barely got by Reyes on Saturday. For the record, the judge who had the fight 49-46 for Jones hadn't judged a UFC fight since 2017.
Favorite in title defense
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 3, 2020
Jones enters fight week as approximately a (-450) betting favorite for his light heavyweight title defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Jones didn't exactly seem like his dominant self when he narrowly took a split decision from Thiago Santos last July, and he even came away with a foot injury that required some time on the sidelines. The long-reigning champion is now back to continue his mission of clearing out the light heavyweight division, and is an understandable favorite against the less-experienced Reyes. Both combatants throw at a relatively high volume that can lead to high fantasy scores, though Jones has been doing this much longer and sports superior striking defense. The real advantage for Jones -- if he chooses to use it -- is wrestling. Reyes sports a respectable 84 percent takedown defense, but he's never faced a wrestler the caliber of Jones, who also has vicious ground-and-pound once the fight gets to the mat. Reyes may be a few years younger, but almost all of the physical and technical advantages lie in the hands of the champion.