Jones Stripped of Title, Suspended Indefinitely

From an official statement posted to UFC.com:

UFC announced that it has suspended Jon Jones indefinitely and stripped him of the light heavyweight title as a result of violations of the organization’s Athlete Code of Conduct Policy.

If I had to guess yesterday, I would have said UFC would delay handing down punishment to Jones until further along in the legal process, and go ahead with Jones vs. Rumble at UFC 187.

In hindsight I can see why this was not viable for them – after all the media attention brought on Jones over the last 48 hours, having him fight less than a month later would have firmly signalled UFC’s implicit acceptance of Jones’s actions. It would have wedded this news story and the brand together irreversibly.

Instead UFC has clearly separated itself, and firmly signalled that it has clear boundaries for what it accepts from its athletes, including its biggest and most profitable stars. It’s a wise move, and another Good Sign that UFC is looking at the bigger picture when it comes to the long-term growth of the promotion and sport.

The biggest mistake Jones made was to flee the scene, in my opinion. Truly a terrible judgement call, and one that only made a bad situation worse. If Jones had stayed at the scene it’s possible the consequences to him would have been significantly lesser, at least professionally and financially. The story certainly wouldn’t have been plastered over major media outlets without the “UFC star on the run” element.

Of course, since a marijuana pipe was found in the car, one could speculate that Jones fled the scene to avoid a DUI charge being piled onto the others.

Jones posted a brief remorseful message to Twitter, his first public comment since the story broke.

Daniel Cormier steps in to fight Rumble for the now-vacant belt at UFC 187. Man, that event is going to have an incredible amount of energy heading into it. Good to see Cormier getting this opportunity.

— MMAO