On April 29, the Ultimate Fighting Championship took unprecedented action against one of its biggest stars, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, stripping him of the title and indefinitely suspending him for his alleged involvement in a felony hit-and-run on April 25 in Albuquerque, N.M.
It was the first time the fight promotion stripped a champion of his belt for anything other than a contractual dispute or an injury in its 22-year history.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson was shocked when he heard the news of Jones’ alleged crimes.
“When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it, just because it’s like Jon Jones hit and run, marijuana in the car, pregnant women, broken arm. And I was like, ‘well, this can’t be good.’ So with that being said, it’s a very unfortunate situation,” Johnson said while appearing on a recent segment of Submission Radio.
Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, recently stated that he didn’t agree with the decision to strip his client of the title he earned. Johnson believes the UFC made the correct call.
“I obviously do think the UFC did the right thing. The UFC is probably one of the best organizations in the world when it comes to mixed martial arts, and it’s taking care of its athletes. And this hasn’t been the first time Jon Jones has been in trouble with the law,” he said.
“Let’s not forget, the man crashed the $400,000 Bentley that the UFC bought him. I ain’t got a $400,000 dollar Bentley, but they bought him one and he crashed it. So I think they did the right thing by stripping him of his title, suspending him, and letting him take care of things that are important, which is him getting himself sober – 110-percent sober – and him focusing on life again and taking care of his family and leaving the drugs alone.
“I think they did the right thing. I think with him trying to defend his title in more than a week, it just wouldn’t have helped him in that cause of trying to get healthy,” added the 125-pound titleholder.
Jones was scheduled to defend his title at UFC 187 on May 23 against top contender Anthony Johnson. Third-ranked Daniel Cormier will face Johnson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the vacant 205-pound title instead.