Jon Jones has been sidelined since an April hit-and-run accident that he was charged with in Albuquerque, N.M., but on Friday, the UFC reinstated him, allowing the disgraced former champion to resume his career.
Jones was stripped of his UFC belt following his involvement in a felony hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque on April 27, 2015, that left a pregnant motorist injured. He faced a felony charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Bodily Harm or Death.
Jones ran a red light and smashed his rented SUV into a car, which, in turn, smashed into another car. The driver of the car he allegedly smashed into suffered a fractured arm and wrist. Jones then fled the scene on foot, reportedly without so much as checking to see if anyone was injured.
The 28-year-old stripped champion entered into a plea deal with the prosecution, which subjects him to 18 months of supervised probation and requires him to make 72 speaking appearances at local Boys and Girls clubs as well as schools in Bernalillo County, N.M.
Although Jones avoided jail time, the UFC still hired a third party to review the former champion’s charges and pleas agreement before officially welcoming him back to the Octagon.
“Following a review of the plea agreement reached by Jon Jones and officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the judge’s decision, UFC announced today the formal reinstatement of Jones to the UFC roster,” read Friday’s statement. “Effective immediately, Jones is eligible to return to competition. As such, UFC expects Jones to meet all of the terms of his plea agreement, including mandatory community service, as a condition of his reinstatement.
“UFC is currently discussing with Jones a potential date for his return to the Octagon.”
Jones is expected to get an immediate shot to regain the title that is currently wrapped around Daniel Cormier’s waist.
“We’ve made it clear to Jon that this new opportunity to compete in UFC is a privilege and not a right, and that there are significant expectations we have regarding his conduct moving forward,” said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. “We’re happy to read and see reports that he has embraced the terms of his plea agreement and is using this experience to grow and develop as a person.”
“I am thankful to be able to do what I love once again and I look forward to proving myself as a champion in and outside of the Octagon,” Jones said.