• Andrew Starc

The Crimes of Jon Jones Part 1 – Guns, Hit-And-Runs & Pussy Slapping

Jon Jones does all things through Christ, who strengthens him, so declares the Bible verse – Philippians 4:13 – emblazoned across his chest.

He is, however, a man whose devotion for Christ begs forgiveness for a litany of sins. God-fearing champion to some, sanctimonious drug cheat to others, Jones' life has been a devil's mixture of god, guns, dope and pure violence.

Those given to tired sporting tropes would label Jones the prodigal son. UFC light-heavyweight champ by 23. Greatest of all time by 27. His legacy tarnished and potential unrealised now at 33.

He has amassed the most impressive highlight reel of any fighter, for both his feats within the octagon, and his villainy without.

Richly available is footage of Jones being questioned by police through his driver's side window, his car being searched for drugs or firearms, or his appearing before a panel of sober officials, facing his misdeeds.

It's these Jon Jones highlights we'll relive in this two-part series, as we chronicle the crimes and misdemeanours of Jon Jones – a rap sheet so extensive it requires two parts.

In this article, we detail his many legal transgressions. Read part two to explore his history of doping and questionable behaviour in the UFC.

Jon Jones – The serially-offending Greatest of All Time

The story of the prodigious talent achieving stratospheric success at a young age – and subsequently getting caught up in a career-derailing lifestyle – is an all too familiar one.

That of Mike Tyson, a drug-abusing world heavyweight champion at just 20 and prison inmate three years later, is perhaps the most notorious. Diego Maradona, a man who looks like he wakes up snorting cocaine, and Tiger Woods, whose prodigious philandering is worthy of a Green Jacket, are close runners up.

Jon Jones inhabited this same rarefied air by his early twenties.

"I was smoking pot, you know...drinking every weekend pretty much, you know, to the point of blacking out," he revealed on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2016.

His legal transgressions – most distinctly alcohol-fuelled and vehicular in nature – would shortly follow.

2012 – Jon Jones crashes into a pole while drunk

A year into his championship reign in May 2012, an intoxicated Jones, accompanied not by his long-standing girlfriend but two unknown women, crashed his Bentley into a telephone pole.

Compared to his later scandals, the incident was but a mere contretemps for Jones. He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, was fined and ordered to rehab.

His Bentley required only light panel work, so too his public image, which curiously at the time was described by press as "clean-cut," "god-fearing" and at worst, "fake."

It was his second vehicular escapade however, three years later, that stole the headlines, derailed his career, and established his reputation as MMA's wild man.

2015 – Jon Jones' hit-and-run accident and first UFC suspension

Jones' hit-and-run accident in April 2015 – less than a month before he was set to face Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson at UFC 187 – reads like a bad stoner comedy.

Driving home bleary-eyed after a night of partying in Albuquerque, he runs a red light while texting, before crashing his SUV into oncoming traffic.

After fleeing the scene, witnesses claim he swiftly returned to grab "a large handful of cash" from the car, before "he shoved the cash into his pants and ran north."

On the The Joe Rogan Experience, Jones denied returning for the cash, but instead for something more incriminating.

"I step out of the car, and seconds later, I realise my [weed] bowl's in my car," revealed Jones.

Inside Jones' car, police would later find the bowl, along with a "shitload of condoms", according to an officer on the scene.

"Well, he's fucked," said another officer after learning the drug paraphernalia and condom carrying car was in fact Jones'.

While this sordid tableau would've likely sufficed to strip Jones of his UFC belt, it got almost comically worse.

A pregnant woman, it turned out, suffered a broken arm in the crash.

Rape or pedophilia notwithstanding, it's hard to think of a more reputationally damaging scandal than one that generates headlines like "UFCs Jon Jones: Why I fled crash with pregnant woman."

Below: Police discover a treasure trove of naughty paraphernalia inside Jones' car

After turning himself in, Jones was charged with a hit-and-run felony, stripped of his UFC title, suspended indefinitely, and his name muddied across national and international headlines, forever coupled with crime of injuring a pregnant woman.

Jones would avoid the maximum three years' jail by accepting a plea deal. He walked away with an 18 month probation, of which he would violate less than a year later.

2016 – Jon Jones booked for drag racing

"Why you drag racing that Cadillac?" an Albuquerque police officer asks Jones on the night of 24 March 2016, the champ's scowling visage illuminated by the officer's flash light, as he sits in his rumbling white Corvette.

"I did not drag race the Cadillac," answers a defiant Jones. "Man, you're just harassing me, man," he continues in righteous indignation.

"Cut the attitude," snaps the officer.

Upon receiving several tickets, most notably for drag racing, Jones unleashes a series of verbal volleys at the officer, who enthusiastically plumbs his deep well of sarcasm to return in kind.

"Fucking liar. Fucking with me for no reason. How do you sleep with yourself," asks Jones rhetorically.

"Mostly on my left side, sometimes on my back," quips the officer.

"You're despicable...pig," retorts an exasperated Jones.

"The feeling's mutual," replies the officer, full of snark.

The MMA world was soon blessed with the spectacle of Jon Jones, cuffed and attired in his best orange prison jumpsuit, as he appeared in court to face charges carrying up to 3 years in prison. Making a show of support, UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta looked on from the viewing gallery.

A plea deal saw Jones avoid charges for drag racing, but guilty of unlawful use of modification exhaust systems and improper display of registration plate. He was ordered to complete 60 hours of community service attend aggressive driving school.

2019 – Jon Jones' pussy-slapping incident

"UFC's Jon Jones accused of slapping woman's vagina" read a salacious TMZ headline in July 2019, two weeks after the light-heavyweight champ narrowly defeated Thiago Santos at UFC 239.

Seemingly, Jones had outdone his previously most damning headline of "fleeing crash with injured pregnant woman" four years earlier.

The incident took place on a night out in April, when devout Christian Jon Jones, and younger brother Chandler, were enjoying light refreshments at a local Albuquerque strip club.

Jon, alleges his cocktail waitress victim, was pestering her all night for a lap dance. After the waitress explained that she's not a stripper, the affianced father of four allegedly pulled her to his lap and lavished kisses on her neck.

Later, as the waitress went to retrieve shots for Jon, she alleges he approached her from behind, placed her in a "tight rear-naked choke hold," before lifting her in the air.

Once Jon put her down, the waitress claims he "slapped her pussy."

Charged with misdemeanour battery, Jones strenuously denied any wrongdoing, pleading not guilty. He was eventually cleared of the charges after police failed to corroborate the alleged victim's story.

In the court of public opinion however, with his reputation preceding him, many fans believe him guilty.

2020 – Vehicular shooting incident

"Did you just hear a gun shot?" asks an Albuquerque police officer to Jon Jones after pulling over the light-heavyweight champ in the early hours of March 26 – just a month after controversially defeating Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.

"I did it," says a bleary-eyed Jones, seemingly resigned to his fate.

"You did hear one? Where'd it come from?" replies the officer, mishearing Jon.

"Who knows?" says Jon as he shrugs sheepishly, performing a comically hard about-face on his admission seconds ago.

"What's all this green stuff you've got all over you?" asks the officer.

"Jason, I'm just going for a drive, man," replies Jones, whose run-ins with the local constabulary are seemingly so prolific he is on a first-name basis with them.

"It smells like alcohol bad," says another officer.

The arrest, captured for posterity on police body cam, is essentially an episode of COPS. His fiance and four children at home during COVID-19 lockdown, the 32 year-old explains his wanderings to the officer.

"I just went for a drive, I was getting stir-crazy. I met the homeless guys just a second ago and just thought I would talk to them, give them some love," says Jones.

Officers would later deduce the MMA GOAT was dispensing cups of alcohol to the homeless.

Jones would then attempt, and fail multiple times, to pass a sobriety test involving walking toe-to-toe in a straight line.

"Let me start over. I have ADD. I get punched in the head for a living," says Jones after failing his first attempt.

"Do you have any questions about the test?" asks the officer before Jon's second attempt.

"No. But my short term memory is really bad. People don't know that about me but it's really bad," says Jones.

He's then asked to perform another test, counting backwards from 47.

"My daughter's dyslexic," offered Jones as explanation for his struggling through the first few numbers.

Jones later blew twice the legal blood-alcohol limit. Inside his car, officers found expired car insurance, a black handgun and a half-empty, open bottle of Recuerdo under the passenger seat. A spent casing, along with a pool of vomit, lay outside the driver's side door.

He was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, negligent use of a firearm and possession of an open container.

A plea deal would see Jones guilty of the first charge, with the others dropped. He was sentenced to four days house arrest, one years' probation, 90 days of outpatient therapy and 48 hours of community service.

Read part two in this series to relive the story of Jon Jones' history of doping and questionable behaviour in the UFC.

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