Jon Jones Suspended, Stripped of Title, Replaced by Daniel Cormier at UFC 187

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2015

USA Today

The UFC stripped light heavyweight champion Jon Jones of his title and issued him an indefinite suspension Tuesday. Those actions came as a result of the fighter's arrest on a "felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injuries," per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com. 

 The UFC released a statement on its decision, via its official website:

UFC announced that it has suspended Jon Jones indefinitely and stripped him of the light heavyweight title as a result of violations of the organization’s Athlete Code of Conduct Policy. Jones was recently arrested in Albuquerque, N.M. on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. As a result of the charge and other violations of the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy, the organization believes it is best to allow Jones time to focus on his pending legal matters. ...

With this decision, UFC has determined that No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson will now fight No. 3 contender Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas.

ESPN's Darren Rovell also revealed Reebok terminated Jones' contract:

SportsCenter noted that Jones is the first UFC champion to have his title revoked for disciplinary reasons.

Raimondi delved into numerous details on the arrest. Jones allegedly ran a red light when driving Sunday, struck another car and fled the scene on foot. A pregnant woman was behind the wheel of that other vehicle and broke her arm in the crash. There was also a marijuana pipe and marijuana in the rental car Jones allegedly fled.

Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com passed along some quotes from UFC president Dana White after news of the suspension broke and pointed out what the fallout will be inside the ring:

While the fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson for the undisputed UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 187 is sure to draw interest among UFC fans, the sport clearly has other concerns in its immediate future.

Cormier himself suggested as much, per Helwani:

Make no mistake about it, this is a sad day for our sport. One of the best fighters of all time has found himself in trouble again. It sucks. Despite our differences, I truly wish the best for Jon and his family, and I know he can get through this.

But in life, opportunity knocks, and it's up to you to answer the door. So as I've done time again, I'm answering that door. I will be in Vegas on May 23 -- you can count on me -- I will win the belt, and then when Jon is ready to return, I will be happy to give him a shot at my belt.

UFC had more from Cormier, saying "There are a lot of people that look up to Jones and want to see him succeed. I'll be waiting on the other side with the belt."

Jones took to social media to offer an apology for the incident:

It remains to be seen if and when Jones will return to the UFC.

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