UFC champ Jon Jones pleads no contest in Albuquerque strip club case

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in connection with an incident at an Albuquerque, N.M., strip club in April. 

In pleading no contest, which means that Jones did not admit guilt or fault in the incident, Jones reached a plea deal with prosecutors. If he stays out of trouble for the next 90 days, meaning he isn’t arrested or found to have violated the law during that period, the case will be dismissed.

In the initial allegations, Jones was accused of battery stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred on April 19 at TD’s Eubank Showclub, where a waitress claimed he made inappropriate contact with her, even after she told him to stop.

In addition to touching her inappropriately, the waitress said that Jones also placed her in a rear-naked choke hold and lifted her off the ground roughhousing with her.

Prosecutors said that several witnesses failed to corroborate the initial statements included in the initial criminal complaint filed against Jones, and that the alleged victim did not want to pursue battery charges against him.

“It was determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with the petty misdemeanor charge of battery under New Mexico state law,” Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the district attorney, said in a statement in the Albuquerque Journal.

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Jones returned to the Octagon at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, 2018, where he regained the light heavyweight championship by defeating Alexander Gustafsson. He then went on to defend the belt against Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos before the battery accusation was reported. 

He hasn’t fought since the victory over Santos on July 6 in Las Vegas, but his plea bargain likely clears the way for Jones to return to the Octagon as soon as he is willing.