When you become successful in sports, the spotlight gets more bright. When the spotlight gets the brightest, more people pay attention. That leads to everyone watching your every move, whether it is in a good way or a bad way.
For Jon Jones, success has come early in his fighting career. He is 25 years old and became the youngest UFC champion when he defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 in March of 2011 to win the light heavyweight championship. Since becoming champion, Jones for the most part has handled things with class and style. Of course being young though, mistakes do happen.
Let's take a look at some of the controversial moments in the career of the UFC light heavyweight champion.
Every fighter eventually loses a fight. For Jon Jones though his first loss didn't come without controversy.
Jones squared off with Matt Hamill at The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 finale in December of 2009. "Bones" was starting to make some noise in the light heavyweight division having just defeated Stephan Bonnar and Jake O'Brien.
The New York native was dominating the fight in the first round. He took down Hamill and started dropping vicious elbows. It looked like the fight was over, but referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight.
People thought Jones had won, but Jones was disqualified for the last elbow—as it was a "12 to 6" elbow. That means dropping your elbow straight down to a downed opponent.
That was Jones' first loss of his career and even though the public didn't like the decision, Jones handled the first controversial moment of his career with class. Just think—if that doesn't happen, Jones would be undefeated today.
We have moments in life that when you look back on it, you wish you can take some things back. May 19, 2012 will be a day that Jon Jones wishes he could have back.
Jones got arrested on the morning of the 19th when he crashed his Bentley into a utility pole in Binghamton, New York at 5:00 a.m. The light heavyweight champion was arrested for DWI.
Jones ended up paying a $1,000 fine, install ignition interlocks on all of his vehicles, had to complete a victims impact class and had his drivers license suspended for six months.
Fans and fighters ridiculed Jones for his actions. "Bones" repeatedly apologized for the incident and vowed he has learned from the incident.
In the 19 year history of the UFC, a card had never been cancelled. On August 23 of last year, that all changed. Jones had been scheduled to face off with Dan Henderson for the light heavyweight title at UFC 151 on September 1.
Henderson suffered a torn MCL in training and had to bow out of the fight. The UFC was searching for a replacement and found one in former two-time middleweight contender Chael Sonnen.
The UFC though got resistance from Jones. After talking to his team, he felt he wouldn't have enough time to prepare for Sonnen and declined the fight.
Jones got ridiculed from all circles. He got flack from fans, fellow fighters and even Dana White. Jones went from one of the most popular fighters in the sport to the most hated just in that one moment.
Jones and Sonnen are coaches on this current season of The Ultimate Fighter and will square off at UFC 159 in April.