When the news broke last Saturday that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had been arrested in upstate New York and charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) after his Bentley struck a telephone pole, there was a lot of shock in the MMA community.
Not because a fighter isn’t capable of making a mistake, but because of the kind of person Jon Jones had always been made out to be both in the public and in private. A 24-year-old kid with all the success in the world who wanted to be a role model to today’s youth made a big mistake, and he’s going to own up to what he did, but right now he’s just gathering his thoughts and letting the legal process run its course.
“He will address everyone soon. He’s going to have an official statement, from him, and something’s going to come directly from him. He’ll address everybody and talk directly, and do all that when he’s ready to do it, I’m sure,” Kawa stated.
From the physical side of the accident, the UFC’s top light heavyweight is completely okay. Reports had surfaced that Jones suffered a bloody nose from an airbag that dispersed when his car struck the telephone pole, but his manager says he’s doing okay with no serious injuries.
“He’s okay. Obviously, I really can’t say much. I’m not going to comment too much on it. We hope that the fans and the media will give Jon a chance to gather his thoughts together and get everything he needs to get together, and you guys will be hearing from Jon directly,” Kawa stated.
“He’s not hurt or anything like that, that’s a good thing about it, but it’s an unfortunate situation. We’ll get him through it.”
Being in the public eye in this paparazzi laden society doesn’t give any celebrity much of a chance to shy away from a situation like this, and Kawa understands that all too well. He knows Jones is going to be under a microscope right now and his actions are going to be scoured over and scrutinized to the umpteenth degree.
His only request is that fans, media, and people around the world give Jones a chance to explain himself, and then they can judge for themselves.
“I understand when celebrities are celebrities and athletes are athletes they’re at the highest level, they’re expected to conduct themselves a certain way, and when they don’t, when they’re winning or losing even, fans are going to have their opinion. That’s something I respect and I understand,” Kawa said.
“I would just kind of like to let the fans know to give him a chance. Give yourself a chance to get all the facts in yourselves, wait until everything gets said and done, and then at that point if you want to vilify him afterwards and you heard him speak and you heard him say his part and then vilify him, I can’t control what people are going to say. But it is too soon; it is too quick in my opinion. He really is a decent guy. He’s a very, very good guy, trying his hardest to be a good role model, a good example, and he wants to be that. No one’s perfect and he’s never said he was and never said that he doesn’t make mistakes. It’s a fact he made a mistake. He messed up and I’m sure he’s going to come out and apologize and do what he’s got to do.”
Kawa also stated that while he has been in constant contact with Jones throughout this situation, he could not confirm that a Facebook post that was made on Monday attributed to the UFC light heavyweight champion actually did come from him.
What he can guarantee, however, is that Jones will make a public statement when the time is right, and he’s not going to hide from what he did.
“No one’s running from anything. At the end of the day, he’s a man. He’s going to stand up like a man, but there’s obviously legal advisers involved, processes involved, and he’s just going through it right now. I can promise you that he’s trying his hardest not to stay quiet and not address the concerns; he’d like to,” Kawa stated.
“Obviously, in no way shape or form am I or any member of my team or any representative of Jon is making any kind of excuses or condoning any type of behavior. All we’re saying, in a nutshell, is give us a chance to get everything in. Give us a chance to understand everything that happened and everything that’s going on, and then we can come out and actually say something that’s intelligent and that can explain things and that people can get their answers in one shot.”
While the champion is still dealing with the fallout from his arrest just last weekend, Kawa says that his fight career is moving forward as far as he is concerned. If something changes, that will be up to Jones or the UFC to make that call.
“I don’t know if the UFC will do anything about it, and as of right now, Jon hasn’t said anything about not fighting on Sept. 1,” said Kawa. “So as far as I’m concerned, from what I know, the fight still will go forward.”
For now, Jones will continue to spend time with his family as he deals with this situation, and he will have a statement in the coming weeks about the accident and subsequent arrest for DWI.