UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is a suspect in a hit-and-run investigation. The April 26 collision left a pregnant woman hospitalized with minor injuries in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The fighter turned himself into police on Monday night.
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Jones Bailed After Turning Himself Into Police
Tuesday, April 28
ESPN's Brett Okamoto provided information from Jones' hearing on Tuesday:
MMAFighting.com's Marc Raimondi provided details of Jones' bail release, just hours after the Albuquerque Police department confirmed the 27-year-old was in their custody:
The document listing his booking information can be found here. Raimondi provided the mugshot:
Okamoto noted additional details from the police report: "The vehicle Jones was traveling in ran a red light. Silver SUV, rented. According to police report, suspect fled then returned to the car to grab a large hand full [sic] of cash."
Raimondi shared information from the police report and the latest statement from authorities regarding Jones:
Witnesses said the driver who started the accident exited his vehicle, then went back to grab a "large handful of cash." The man was described as African American and wearing a white shirt with dark pants. He allegedly ran north from the accident scene and hopped a fence. Officers were unable to find him.
Inside the man's vehicle, a silver Buick SUV, police found a marijuana pipe with marijuana in it and "paperwork belonging to a Jonathan Jones, which had MMA information on it from the state of Nevada," the report stated. There was also Enterprise rental car paperwork inside the vehicle. Several phone calls placed to Jones at the time were unsuccessful.
An off-duty police officer identified the man fleeing the vehicle as Jones, the MMA fighter, according to the report. The off-duty officer also described the man as wearing a white shirt with dark pants. He saw him run up a dirt hill.
Late Sunday evening, the Albuquerque Police Department released a statement on the status of the investigation, saying that Jones was wanted for questioning for his possible involvement in a hit-and-run accident that resulted in a pregnant female being taken to a hospital for minor injuries.
Police also invited anyone with any information they believed might be helpful to call them, based on a statement published by Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT.
Depending on whether, or to what extent, Jones was involved in the incident, he may not be available to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson, a bout initially scheduled for May 23 at UFC 187 in Las Vegas.
Earlier Sunday evening, unnamed sources told MMAWeekly.com that Jones would not compete in the event.
Though the MMA Weekly report initially stated Jones would be out of the bout entirely, sources are now stating that the bout is at risk but not finished at this point.
The 27-year-old Jones (21-1) is generally considered the best active MMA fighter in the world. His bout with Johnson would have been his ninth consecutive light heavyweight title defense.
Jones last fought in January, when he outwrestled former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.
Controversy and curiosity have followed Jones for much of his pro career. After defeating Cormier, news broke that Jones had tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine in a drug test leading up to the fight. He subsequently entered rehab but stayed for only one day.
In 2012, Jones was arrested in his home state of New York and charged with DWI. He received a $1,000 fine and a suspended license, among other punishments.
Also in 2012, officials canceled UFC 151 after challenger Dan Henderson announced that an injury would prevent him from competing. UFC officials offered Chael Sonnen as a replacement, but Jones and his team refused, citing a lack of adequate preparation time.
Last year, Jones and his handlers claimed the fighter's Instagram account had been hacked following scrutiny over anti-gay remarks posted to his official account.
Nevertheless, Jones remains a popular fighter with undeniable talent. He has regularly beaten the best fighters in the world, from Lyoto Machida to Cormier to Rashad Evans to Alexander Gustafsson.
On paper, Johnson would be one of Jones' toughest challengers to date. Rumble (19-4) is among the most feared strikers in the UFC with 13 of 19 pro wins coming by knockout, most recently a first-round TKO of Gustafsson in Sweden this January.
The UFC 187 co-main event is a middleweight title bout between Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort. Should Jones vs. Johnson be pulled from the card, it is conceivable that the co-main event could be bumped up to main event status.
Sunday was not the first time Jones' UFC 187 availability was questioned. In March, retired UFC standout and current ESPN analyst Chael Sonnen said during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session that Jones vs. Johnson "won't happen."
"Won't happen," Sonnen wrote. "Mark my words."
Scott Harris covers MMA for Bleacher Report. For more stuff like this, follow Scott on Twitter.