UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones was arrested early on Saturday morning in New York for Driving Under The Influence after crashing his car in New York.
According to TMZ, Jones totaled his Bentley after smashing into a pole at 5am which lead to him being arrested, though he’s since been bailed.
The news comes as a shock as Jones has so far had a squeeky clean public persona in the sport, coming from a religious background and having been outspoken in his desire to be a good role model to those who look up to him.
In fact, Jones broke new ground recently when he signed a sponsorship deal with the UFC ahead of his fight at UFC 145, and in a soundbyte during an interview with MMAWeekly at the time thatll now come back to haunt him he stated that his ‘good guy’ image had helped clinch the deal and vowed to never get involved in the kind of predicament he now finds himself in.
“We came up with a strategy to keep it clean and be sponsored by the UFC itself. I’m glad the UFC wanted to work with me as well, and I think that they trust that I’ll never make them look bad. You never have to worry about me with a DWI (driving while under the influence) or doing something crazy,” Jones explained – MMAWeekly.
Jones has had a meteoric rise to success in the UFC and in just the last year he’s brushed aside four former champions in Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans as he won the light-heavyweight strap and kept a vice-like grip on it.
He’s also now emerged as a major pay-per-view force for the UFC, with his last fight with Evans doing 700,000 buys – a very good return for the promotion in a period where their PPV numbers have been lukewarm.
Remarkably, Jones has reached this point where he’s now seen as one of, if not the, best fighters in the world, yet is still just 24 years of age.
While that’s unquestionably an impressive achievement, given today’s news it’s also a concern.
After he first won his title against ‘Shogun’ UFC president Dana White stated that he hoped the young fighter wouldn’t be lead astray by hangers-on that inevitably gravitate to people with his level of fame, and up until this point it seemed that he had kept on the straight-and-narrow, with White telling reporters after his most recent victory in April that Jones still had an “innocence” about him that was refreshing.
There’s an old adage about the dangers of getting “too much, too soon,” and hopefully Jones will heed that warning and refocus on what could be a remarkable sporting career that will bring him fame and fortune.