UFC president Dana White made the announcement Tuesday night that the promotion had stripped Jon Jones of his light heavyweight title after an alleged hit-and-run incident in New Mexico.
White, along with other UFC executives, flew to Albuquerque to discuss the matter with Jones. On “FOX Sports Live,” White announced the news, which also includes an indefinite suspension.
“He wasn’t happy,” White said. “He was upset.”
Jones became the youngest UFC champion when he bested Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He went on to successfully defend the title eight times, including against the likes of Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans and Alexander Gustafsson.
While it marked the first time that the code of conduct policy was used as a reference point to the championship change, the UFC has stripped titles from several other fighters before.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done it,” White said. “Guys have been cut for different reasons.”
While the UFC moves ahead, White said Jones should “focus on his pending legal matters.” He made his first court appearance on Tuesday and still faces a felony charge due to one of the victims in the incident being taken to the hospital with a broken arm.
After the change, UFC 187 will now feature Daniel Cormier – who lost in January to Jones – taking on No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson. The winner will be crowned the new champion, with no interim tag attached.
“Anthony Johnson just beat Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier went five rounds with Jones,” White said. “So it’s No. 1 vs. No. 2, in my opinion.”