The controversial career of Jon Jones saw another troubling chapter added to it this past Thursday, as the current UFC light heavyweight champion was arrested by police in his native Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The 32-year-old found himself detained on suspicion of driving while under the influence and negligent use of a firearm.
The incident is the latest in a long line of issues Jones has had with the law – and bodycam footage has now emerged of his most recent arrest.
Jones was pulled over by police at around 1am on Thursday morning after authorities had received reports of a gun being fired. Upon searching Jones’ car, police discovered a black handgun, together with a half-empty bottle of tequila.
When asked by his arresting officer why he had ignored a state order to stay indoors, Jones reveals that he had been struggling to cope with the monotony of lockdown, arguing that he had been going “stir-crazy”. Jones then insisted that he had not driven in some time and was simply looking for a change of scenery and some social interaction.
“I got stir crazy. I got pulled over just being nice, being nice to the homeless people,” Jones said. “I literally just got stir crazy. I just wanted to have a drive. This is my first drive in two weeks. And I saw these homeless guys, I was being nice to them, having conversation with them, treating them like humans.”
Quizzed by the officer over whether he had recently consumed alcohol, Jones admits to having had “just a little vodka”.
The 28-fight veteran is then asked to perform a series of sobriety tests, before being handcuffed and informed that he is being placed under arrest.
The UFC, in response to the incident, issued just a short statement acknowledging Thursday’s events – which read: “UFC is aware of the situation regarding Jon Jones in Albuquerque early this morning. The organisation has been in contact with Jones’ management team and is currently gathering additional information.”
The company must now decide how to deal with Jones’ latest lapse of judgement. “Bones” was previously stripped of his championship after an April 2015 hit-and-run incident – in which he injured a pregnant women. It is not inconceivable that a similar course of action could be taken on this occasion.
This most recent transgression is now the fourth time that Jones has been charged with a crime during his UFC tenure – and the third involving a vehicle.
Given that Jones is one of the promotion’s most well-compensated fighters, it is mind-boggling that he has not yet hired his own personal driver in view of his prior history.
Jones is undoubtedly one of the most talented fighters in the history of MMA. However, for all his talent inside the Octagon, he must address his personal conduct in order to truly fulfil his potential.
Of course, the legal process in respect of his current charge must play out, but fans now long to see a day where Jones makes headlines solely for his fighting brilliance.