Let me tell you a little story I heard about a popular mayor when I was growing up. How much truth there is to it, I can’t say for certain, but this particular story came from said mayor’s inner circle, so I always took it as a case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

See, this particular mayor was getting on in years; was, in fact, one of the longest serving mayors in the nation. And a darn good one, who always won by crushing landslide. Said mayor also had something of a bad habit: taking a wee nip of whiskey now and then. Which would be fine, were it not for the fact that said mayor, eighty plus years young, would still get behind the wheel.

Now, if you’re a UFC fan or frankly a living breathing human at this point, I don’t need to warn you about the dangers of driving under the influence, right? Right?

Back to the story. One night, the honorable mayor got behind the wheel, and perhaps a few shots of whiskey combined with the slowed reaction time and dimming eyesight the ravages of time bring to us all combined in the worst of ways. The car left the road, and before it came to a stop, a poor, innocent traffic sign (a stop sign no less) had fallen victim, crushed by the weight of the mayor’s vehicle.

Really, it’s no laughing matter, but since no one was hurt, you can feel free to have a little chuckle. That’s no excuse for poor judgment, but here’s where the story gets better: the mayor, realizing the mistake made, henceforth hired a driver. No more flattened stop signs, no more danger to the general public.

As someone who has survived a major accident at high speeds (with a big rig, and I’m not talking about Hendricks), I can tell you first hand how much being in a crash sucks. The car — worth as much in sentimental value as in book value — written off, the panicked loved ones, the trip to the hospital (in my case, I got out of it without a scratch, the benefits of driving an old steel beast, but I was still sent in as a precautionary measure). I was lucky, and also not at fault, which saved me the curse of a blemished insurance history. Or worse.

Jon Jones has had not one, not two, but multiple driving infractions over the years. Not simple speeding tickets either. And it’s about time the UFC put their foot down and protected their investment.

Jones’ record is so bad you could write a book on the subject. The Troubled History of Jon Jones Behind the Wheel. In 2008, he lost control of his Subaru, hitting a pair of parked cars, according to an accident report obtained by Sports Illustrated. In 2009, he was cited for unsafe passing. In 2011, he was caught drifting and driving with a suspended license. In 2012, he wrecked his Bentley when he hit a utility pole, and refused a sobriety test.

Right about then, the world should have been aware Jon Jones had a problem. Following the incident, he was ordered to undergo an alcohol awareness program, had his license suspended for six months, and was forced to install an ignition interlock on all his vehicles.

Only, instead of scaring Jones straight, this development seems to do little from deterring Jones from getting behind the wheel. He didn’t run over a stop sign and learn his lesson — instead, he got popped for cocaine following UFC 182. Well, at least he wasn’t driving — that we know of.

Then, in April 2015, the incident that costs him his UFC championship: Jones hit a pregnant woman’s car with a rental vehicle, breaking her arm in the process, and fled the scene. He then returned to collect cash left behind in the car, but fled a second time. What he did leave behind in the car was evidence of drug use, which brings about questions regarding whether Jones was driving high. Either way, he displayed a callous indifference to human life.

Jones, again, got lucky in the aftermath. Lucky that the woman’s injuries were not more serious. Lucky that he got off with probation and community service rather than jail time.

Yet here we are, less than a year later. Jon Jones is once again in trouble with the law. Once again, it involves him at the wheel of the car. This time, he’s pulled over, allegedly for “drag racing” — though the definition of that in New Mexico appears to be revving your engine while stopped at an intersection — and also for an illegal modification to his car, an obscured license plate, and other charges. Whatever you think of how the officer handled the situation (in video released to the public, both the officer and Jones are combative), you’d think that Jones would, at this point, have used some common sense in the situation. Instead, he lost his cool, calling the cop a pig, among more colorful terms.

And so Jon Jones gets an additional 60 hours of community service, a driver improvement course, and an anger management course.

The problem is, if history has shown anything, it’s that Jones won’t change. He has a problem more serious, it seems, than anything a driver improvement course can correct. If history is any indicator, he also won’t learn from his mistakes.

The fact that Daniel Cormier has now pulled out of the planned title rematch with Jones at UFC 197 may be a blessing in disguise. Jones clearly needs more time to work on his personal issues, but the UFC also needs to get involved — and do more than pay lip service to the situation by discussing how disappointed they are. Step in. Take the choice away from Jones. Put pressure on him to get a driver. Can they outright force him? Probably not, but they can tell him that if he wants to continue fighting for the company, he can’t be behind the wheel. They could even foot the bill — after all, Jones is a big money maker for the company. It would simply be protecting their investment.

A smart business move, in other words.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.