Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones appeared in a New Mexico court on Tuesday, pleading guilty to a felony charge and receiving 18 months supervised probation.
Judge Charles Brown of the Bernalillo County Second Judicial District Court handed down the punishment to Jones, who was supported by UFC president Dana White inside the court house.
Jones will also be required to make 72 appearances doing charity work and speaking with children, Brown ordered, along with the supervised probation. If he fulfills the court-ordered obligations, Jones will likely not be convicted of a felony.
“I am here to accept full responsibility for my actions,” Jones said (thanks to MMAFighting.com for the quotes and information). “I’m hoping that you guys can give me a chance to redeem myself.”
Following the 18 months, he must be re-sentenced, as per the conditional discharge agreement.
Back in April, the 28-year-old was involved in a hit-and-run in which his vehicle struck that being driven by a pregnant woman. Jones fled the scene of the crime. He later turned himself in to the local authorities.
The incident is just another that has troubled the promising star. He was arrested in 2012 on driving while intoxicated charges in New York and tested positive for cocaine in January of this year.
Jones also released an official statement through EAG Sports Management:
With regards to today’s decision made by the court, I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me. My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility.
I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it.
I apologize to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family and friends as well as my supporters.
I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life.
Currently, Jones is suspended by the UFC. However, the promotion released a statement of its own shortly after the announcement, saying they will “thoroughly review” before making a decision.
The UFC organization is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition.
More information will be made available following completion of this review.
Also of note, the UFC recently announced plans for a 2016 event in New York at Madison Square Garden. Jones is a native of the state, and has expressed great interest in fighting there. Current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier – who Jones beat in his last bout – will defend his title against Alexander Gustafsson this Saturday night at UFC 192.