JON JONES NOT GUILTY (YET) UPDATE
EDIT FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION: A number of websites are misrepresenting what happened today and are doing so in order to get headline clicks, as is so common in this business. What Jones did was plead “guilty” in a sense but as with all things in life it is more complicated than that. Jones is on 18 month probation for his “guilty plea.” It is a CONDITIONAL plea of guilty. Meaning, if he fulfills the terms of the plea agreement then in 18 months (give or take a bit) his record will be clean. There will then NOT be a guilty conviction on his record. In the future, if someone searches his name there will not be a “Jon Jones is guilty” sticker on his file. (Not for this crime, at least.)
Think of it in the following ways: today, Jon Jones PROMISED to plead guilty if he doesn’t behave for the next year and a half. If he does behave then it all goes away. I know that “JON JONES GUILTY” sounds sexy to everyone but the truth is more nuanced than that.
Our original story is below. We hope the above clarifies things.
As we first reported HERE, Jon Jones is “not” guilty. As for why Jones accepted a plea deal, check out our coverage HERE . And just now, the verdict is in: Jones receives a conditional discharge of all charges against him and 18 months of probation. As a result, Jones will face NO time in prison and community service in the amount of 72 appearances. If Jones completes these appearances and has no more run ins with the law all charges will be gone legally and he will have NO FELONY CONVICTION on his record. His attempted name change did not work.
This now clears a path for the former UFC LightHeavyweight Champion to return to the UFC. And as we have been saying all along (while the other sites decided to sit on this and say nothing out of cowardice)(WE ARE BRAVE!!!!), this is perfectly timed for Jones to loom over this weekend’s UFC 192 PPV. Suddenly, Cormier vs. Gustafsson looks like nothing more than a glorified #1 contender match. The world now knows: Jon Jones is coming back and he will take what was once his.
The long reigning champ has had his run-ins with the law, no doubt, as this isn’t even his first offense involving a car. But even a previous out of competition positive test for cocaine didn’t prevent the promotion from using Jones as a main-eventer. And after that had gotten out, the UFC was still slated to go forward with Jones in the main-event last May. Until the accident which prompted this latest saga ending in his non-conviction. He was then stripped of the title and suspended by tthe company.
At the time, the UFC pretend like this was a grave concern and they didn’t know if he’d ever be back. However, over time, it was clear that the stance had softened with all language and indications being that Jones was merely “figuring things out.”
With this plea, expect Jones back in action as soon as is feasible. We’ve previously noted that a February return date would line up perfectly with the current UFC calendar. And be it Cormier or Gustafsson, it will be a rematch for Jones. It will simply have the added twist of them defending his belt against him! In fact, even though Jones will have been out of action for over a year, there’s a good chance he still may not have anything but rematches on the horizon. A quick look at the top six ranked fighters on ufc.com reveals the following:
- Daniel Cormier
- Anthony Johnson
- Alexander Gustafsson
- Glover Teixeira
- Ryan Bader
- Rashad Evans
Of those six, Jones has beaten (with almost universal ease) all of them except Johnson. Three of the top four ranked UFC LightHeavyweights represent Jones’s last three fights! No official date has been announced for his return, but with the UFC teasing a Madison Square Garden date next year, that could also very well be the official return of Jon Jones. Guilty or not: Jon Jones is back.