Photo Courtesy of Albuquerque Police Department Jon Jones Scandal: Did the UFC Get it Right? RJ Gardner April 30, 2015 Spotlight It’s has been a wild couple of day in the world of MMA and now the UFC has effectively dropped the hammer on Jon Jones. On Tuesday evening, the UFC announced the Jones was suspended indefinitely and stripped of his light heavyweight title as a result of his recent arrest in Albuquerque, N.M., for felony hit-and-run. The UFC’s response was swift and harsh and it was absolutely the right thing to do. The organization had already dropped the discipline ball with Jones a couple of times recently. First, when they gave him a slap on the wrist fine for a positive drug test for cocaine metabolites, then again, when they did not intervene when Jones entered and exited rehab in just 24 hours. The UFC’s integrity was at stake here with Jones and they sent a firm message to him and everyone else. Now hopefully Jones can get the help he obviously needs at this point and get his life back in order. At just 27, Jones is still a young man with a lot of good years left, but he needs to get his life right. There will be some fans and media pundits out there who will say that the UFC acted hastily in this situation, but that simply isn’t the case. While we do live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty, that is only true in a court of law. The court of public opinion is an entirely different matter, but people don’t see to grasp that concept. If you are against the Jones’ punishment, then let me put it into real world terms for you. Let’s say Tom is a Director of Sales for a local business and he was arrested for fleeing the scene of an injury accident on foot. Let’s also say that witnesses reported the Tom returned to the scene not to check on the other parties involved, but instead to grab something from the vehicle before fleeing once more. When the initial report is released it states that marijuana and a pipe were found in the vehicle. What do you think happens to Tom as far as his job in concerned? That’s right; Tom is either suspended without pay or fired outright. Why? Because of the negative image Tom has brought to the company. Even though legally Tom is innocent until proven guilty, the way his actions are perceived will have consequences. It might not be fair, but that’s what happens in the real world. When you make a mistake there are consequences for your actions. The UFC failed to properly address Jones’ issues earlier and now they were forced to make a real statement with this punishment. They should be applauded for it to because ultimately this will be a wake up call for Jones and he will come back stronger than ever. bonkerstheclown mcpickle In a word, yes. The UFC got it right. The sport of MMA isn’t big enough yet for folks to just overlook or downplay things like this. Simply put, Jon Jones is not Floyd Mayweather. There has to be consequences for his actions. The UFC is not the NFL. Fans aren’t ready to just overlook criminals and crime like it’s just irrelevant “boys will be boys” stuff. Stripping and suspending Jones paints the UFC as a sports league that holds their athletes to a higher standard. It’s also going to set up a guaranteed 1 million PPV card for Jones’ returning and challenging to reclaim the title he never really lost. If the UFC is very wise, they’ll push for a warm-up fight for Jones — effectively milking this “returning GOAT” storyline for all it’s worth. And if Jones’ reign continues after all of this, his PPV drawing power will experience a significant upsurge.