Jon Jones, perhaps the most accomplished fighter in UFC history, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident on Tuesday in connection to a hit-and-run smash-up in Albuquerque earlier this year.
The deal allows Jones to serve no time in prison as a result of the accident that broke a pregnant woman’s arm. The terms of the agreement force Jones to perform a hefty amount of community service and serve probation for 18 months. Should he fulfill the terms of the agreement, the felony charge likely disappears.
Jones released a statement following the court appearance:
With regards to today’s decision made by the court, I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me. My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility. I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it. I apologize to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family and friends as well as my supporters. I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life.
The UFC, which promotes a bout this weekend in Houston between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Alexander Gustafsson for the belt Jones once held, also released a statement on the resolution of the case:
The UFC organization is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition.
More information will be made available following completion of this review.
Jones won the UFC light-heavyweight title in a March, 2011 convincing TKO of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He made eight defenses against a murderer’s row of opponents, including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Alexander Gustafsson, Vitor Belfort, and Daniel Cormier, before the accident forced him to vacate his title this spring. The only defeat on his 21-1 record came from a disqualification for using illegal elbows from top position in a dominant performance against Matt Hamill.