Jon Jones stripped of title, suspended indefinitely; Cormier vs Johnson for title at UFC 187

jonjones

Following a meeting with UFC president Dana White, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC COO Lawrence Epstein in Albuquerque earlier today, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has now been stripped of his UFC title and suspended indefinitely. Daniel Cormier will replace Jon Jones at UFC 187 and will fight Anthony Johnson for the light-heavyweight title.

The news was broken on Fox Sports tonight.

Update: The UFC released the following statement on Jon Jones’ suspension

“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. Jones was recently arrested in Albuquerque, N.M. on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. As a result of the charge and other violations of the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy, the organization believes it is best to allow Jones time to focus on his pending legal matters.

UFC feels strongly that its athletes must uphold certain standards both in and out of the Octagon. While there is disappointment in the recent charges, the organization remains supportive of Jones as he works through the legal process.

With this decision, UFC has determined that No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson will now fight No. 3 contender Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas.”

Daniel Cormier released a statement through MMAFighting after the news broke

“Make no mistake about it, this is a sad day for our sport. One of the best fighters of all time has found himself in trouble again. It sucks. Despite our differences, I truly wish the best for Jon and his family, and I know he can get through this.

“But in life, opportunity knocks, and it’s up to you to answer the door. So as I’ve done time again, I’m answering that door. I will be in Vegas on May 23 — you can count on me — I will win the belt, and then when Jon is ready to return, I will be happy to give him a shot at my belt.”

Jones, who won his title initially from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2011, has gone on to defend his 205 lbs strap a record 8th times and he was looking to make that 9 against the hard hitting Johnson.

Training out of the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico Jones has been unflappable in his time inside the Octagon where he has managed to become the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world. Although his personal life hasn’t been as easy – especially this week.

Jones was originally arrested on Monday following a hit and run incident which took place on Sunday morning. Jones is alleged to have been the driver of a silver SUV which ran a red light and hit another oncoming vehicle. The occupant of the vehicle Jones is accused to have hit turned out to be a pregnant woman who sustained a broken arm in the crash. Thankfully her pregnancy was not affected.

Witnesses at the scene say Jones exited his vehicle following the incident, ran away briefly and returned for a handful of cash before running away again and climbing a fence to a dirt road. Police later found car rental documents with Jones’ name on them as well as marijuana and a pipe.

After a day on the run Jones handed himself into Albuquerque authorities (who were seeking him on a felony charge for his arrest because of the woman’s injury) before he was released from custody within three hours on continued bond by a judge in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

According to MMAFighting.com‘s Marc Raimondi, the district attorney has yet to determine whether Jones’ case will be brought to a grand jury. He has 60 days to do so.

UFC 187 takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 23rd.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma