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Jon Jones

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Jon Jones
Jon Jones - Supporting Brain Health Study.jpg
Jones in 2014
BornJonathan Dwight Jones[1][2]
(1987-07-19) July 19, 1987 (age 32)[3]
Rochester, New York, U.S.[4]
Other namesBones (current)[5]
Sexual Chocolate (former)[6]
ResidenceIthaca, New York, U.S.[7]
NationalityAmerican[4]
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)[5][8]
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)[9]
DivisionLight heavyweight[5]
Reach84 12 in (215 cm)[10]
Fighting out ofAlbuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.[4]
TeamJackson Wink MMA Academy[3]
RankBlack belt in Gaidojutsu under Greg Jackson[11]
Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Roberto Alencar[12]
Years active2008–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total27
Wins25
By knockout10
By submission6
By decision9
Losses1
By disqualification1
No contests1
Other information
UniversityIowa Central Community College[13]
Notable relativesArthur Jones (older brother)[14]
Chandler Jones (younger brother)[14]
Notable school(s)Union-Endicott High School[15]
Websitewww.jonnybones.com
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Jonathan Dwight Jones[1][2] (born July 19, 1987)[3] is an American professional mixed martial artist who is signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Widely regarded as one of the greatest ever professional fighters,[17] he is the current and two-time undisputed UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He has been champion since December 29, 2018, and previously held the title from March 20, 2011, to April 28, 2015. Jones also held the interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, making him a three-time UFC champion overall. As of August 19, 2019, he is #1 in official UFC pound-for-pound rankings.[18]

At age 23, with his victory over Maurício Rua in 2011, Jones became the youngest champion since the UFC instituted weight classes.[19] He holds many UFC records in the light heavyweight division, including the most title defenses, most wins, longest win streak, and most submission victories. During much of his championship reign, Jones has been widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.[20][21][22][23][24] Never stopped nor outscored during his career, Jones' lone professional loss is a controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill, a result that Hamill and UFC President Dana White dispute.[25][26][27]

Between 2015 and 2017, Jones was involved in several controversies and lost his title three times time as a result of disciplinary action. He was first stripped of his title and removed from the official rankings by the UFC in 2015 after he was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges. His subsequent returns to the UFC in 2016 and 2017 saw him emerge victorious in title bouts against Ovince Saint Preux and Daniel Cormier, but were both cut short by Jones testing positive for banned substances and receiving further suspensions, with the latter reversed to a 'no contest'.[28][29] After his 2017 suspension was lifted, Jones reclaimed the championship in 2018 by defeating Alexander Gustafsson and successfully defended it in his two following fights.[30]

Jones is the younger brother of former National Football League (NFL) player Arthur Jones and the older brother of current NFL player Chandler Jones.[31][32][33]

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Before beginning his MMA career, Jones was a stand-out high school wrestler and state champion at Union-Endicott High School in upstate New York.[34] He also played football as a defensive lineman, and due to his slight frame, his coach nicknamed him "Bones".[35] He won a national JUCO championship at Iowa Central Community College.[34] After transferring to Morrisville State College[36] to study Criminal Justice, he dropped out of college to begin his MMA career.[37]

Jones made his professional MMA debut in April 2008.[34] He amassed an undefeated record of 6–0 over a period of three months, finishing all of his opponents. In July 2008, Jones accepted a fight in the UFC as a late replacement with only two weeks notice.[34]

In his last bout before signing with the UFC, Jones defeated Moyses Gabin at BCX 5 for the USKBA Light Heavyweight Championship.[34] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.[38]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Debut and rise to contender status

Jones made his UFC debut against Andre Gusmão at UFC 87 on August 9, 2008. Jones accepted the deal on two weeks' notice as a late replacement for Tomasz Drwal.[34] He put on an impressive performance, using takedowns and displaying unorthodox striking, such as spinning elbows and a spinning back kick. Jones took a unanimous decision (30–27, 29–28, and 30–27) victory.[39][40]

In his second career UFC match, Jones took on veteran Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94 on January 31, 2009. Jones showed superior wrestling abilities and executed strong takedowns as well as powerful throws including a suplex. Again showing unorthodox striking as he had in his debut, Jones secured one of Bonnar's legs and landed a back-elbow that nearly knocked out his opponent during the first round. Although he appeared to tire in the third round, Jones held on to win another unanimous decision (30–27, 29–28, and 29–28) victory.[41][42]

Jones' third fight was against Jake O'Brien at UFC 100[43] on July 11, 2009. Jones controlled the majority of the match by stuffing takedown attempts from his opponent. Jones stayed on the outside, exercising his reach advantage, and finding his range toward the end of the first round with his right jab and high and low kicks. Halfway through the second round, Jones ducked and spun to deliver another one of his signature back-elbows that struck the top of O'Brien's head. Jones eventually secured a modified guillotine choke, causing O'Brien to tap out.[44][45]

In September 2009, Jones was rewarded for his victories by signing a new four-fight contract with the UFC.[46]

On December 5, 2009, Jones faced off against fellow light heavyweight prospect Matt Hamill at The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale. Despite dominating the fight, Jones was disqualified[47] for the use of multiple 12-6 elbows. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts prohibited downward elbow strikes, and Jones was initially only penalized a point from the round.[48] However, because Hamill could not continue due to a dislocated shoulder,[49] Jones was disqualified for those strikes. Consequently, the replay simulation was reviewed, and showed that Jones' elbows further damaged Hamill's already bloody and lacerated nose.[48] This marked the first time that Nevada has used its recently enacted instant replay rule, in which the referee's decision was supported by the commission, which utilized a slow-motion replay to review the elbows.[50] Jones fought Brandon Vera on March 21, 2010, at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones.[51] He won the fight by TKO after an elbow to Vera's face followed up with various punches in the first round.[52] The elbow delivered to stop the fight also broke Vera's face in three places.[53] Jones also won the "Knockout of the Night" award.[54]

UFC youngest champion Jon Jones and basketball player Glen Davis in 2010

Jones defeated former IFL Light Heavyweight Champion Vladimir Matyushenko by TKO with elbows in 1:52 of the first round on August 1, 2010, at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko.[55] UFC President Dana White promised Jones a "huge step-up in the competition", if he managed to defeat Matyushenko.[56]

Following the match with Matyushenko, White said, "Vladimir Matyushenko is a guy who I have a lot of respect for and I didn't think it was going to happen that easy. Jones is the real deal and he just catapulted himself tonight into the top eight in the world. Tonight solidified it. To go in and do what he did to Vladimir Matyushenko, and make it look as easy as he did tonight, it cements it for me. This kid is one of the top eight in the world in that weight division. He's got to keep his head together, stay focused and keep doing all the right things in training. He's smart, good looking and bad-ass. He's going to make a lot of money -- this kid is going to do very well. Right now in the 205-pound division, all these guys are fighting each other. When the smoke clears and the dust settles, Jon Jones will fight one of the top eight guys in the world for his next fight."[57]

After defeating Matyushenko, Jones stated that he wanted a "top-three opponent" for his next fight.[58]

Jones mentioned in an interview with Inside MMA that he would be facing the winner of Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs. Ryan Bader.[59] Reports that Jones had previously been offered a match with Nogueira, but turned it down,[60] turned out to be false.[61] In the Inside MMA interview, Jones also stated that he had been informed by Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta that if he finished his next two fights, he would likely receive a title shot.[59]

White soon confirmed that Jones would face the undefeated Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader, on February 5, 2011, at UFC 126.[62] Jones handed Bader his first professional loss by defeating him via submission due to a guillotine choke in the second round after dominating Bader in the first round. Jones was awarded the "Submission of the Night" bonus.[63]

It was revealed that title contender and Jones' training partner Rashad Evans had sustained a knee injury in training, and would not be able to compete in his scheduled match with UFC light heavyweight champion Maurício "Shogun" Rua. Jones was told by Joe Rogan that right after his bout had ended, he would replace Evans in the fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.[64]

Light Heavyweight Champion

On March 19, 2011, at UFC 128, Jones defeated Rua by TKO at 2:37 of Round 3, becoming the youngest UFC champion ever. After an early flying knee that badly hurt the champion, Shogun was dominated throughout the three rounds. A body shot and knee to the head dropped the champion to his knees, causing the referee to swiftly step in and halt the match.[65]

His first title defense was expected to be on August 6, 2011, at UFC 133 against Rashad Evans,[66] his former friend and teammate,[67] but Jones was sidelined with a hand injury.[68] It was initially announced that the hand injury would require surgery, but Jones opted for rest and rehabilitation without surgery after further consultations with doctors.[69] Jones's injury was originally thought to keep him out of action until late 2011,[70] but he instead made his first title defense against Quinton Jackson on September 24, 2011, at UFC 135. Jones defeated Jackson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:14 in the 4th round.[71] In the process, he became the first UFC fighter to submit Jackson. Jones has described this as his favorite fight.[72]

Jones vs. Evans was in the works for a second time, and a bout was targeted for December 10, 2011, at UFC 140.[73] However, a lingering thumb injury cost another title opportunity for Evans, and Jones instead faced Lyoto Machida at the same event.[74] Despite getting rocked in the first round by Machida, Jones successfully defended the light heavyweight title at UFC 140, stopping Machida at 4:26 of the second round via technical submission (guillotine choke), which caused Machida to collapse unconscious along the cage.[75] This was the first submission loss in Machida's career.

Jones defeated his archrival and former teammate Rashad Evans via unanimous decision (49–46, 49–46, and 50–45) on April 21, 2012, at UFC 145.[76]

During the UFC 145 post fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that Jones's next opponent would be Dan Henderson.[77] The Jones-Henderson fight was expected to take place at UFC 151, but Henderson pulled out of the bout due to injuries,[78][79] Jones then refused a late replacement fight with Chael Sonnen after his coach Greg Jackson told him with three training days left, it would be pretty difficult to prepare.[80] UFC 151 was then subsequently cancelled. It was later reported that Henderson was injured three weeks prior to the announcement, but kept the injury under wraps as he was still hoping to compete. However, he had to withdraw following a final sparring session to evaluate his condition.[81]

A rematch with Lyoto Machida was then announced for September 22, 2012, at UFC 152.[82] Lyoto Machida, who was not contacted prior to the announcement, rejected the fight due to the lack of time to train before the bout.[83] Jones, instead, defended the championship against Vitor Belfort on September 22, 2012, at UFC 152.[84] Jones opened as a massive favorite (13-to-1) coming into the bout.[84]

"it was not the finish that's the story of this evening. It's the refusal to be finished."

—Jeff Wagenheim on Jones' submission victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC 152[85]

Despite almost being submitted via armbar in round one, Jones successfully defended the belt against Belfort via an americana submission in round four,[86][87] and equaled Chuck Liddell's number of title defenses.[88][89] Jones also won a $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus for his fourth-round finish of Belfort.[90]

Jones was chosen to coach opposite Chael Sonnen on Season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter. With a bout between the coaches taking place on April 27, 2013, at UFC 159.[91] Jones displayed a lack of interest in the bout and actively downplayed the contest, making it clear that he did not believe Sonnen was a fit contender. In an interview, Sonnen did his best to garner interest in the bout, but Jones gave him the "silent treatment", and refused to make eye contact.[92] Jones made quick work of his challenger, finishing Sonnen via TKO in the first round. However, he dislocated a phalanx (big toe) on his left foot during the fight.[93][94][95][96] With the win, Jones tied Tito Ortiz for having most consecutive title defenses in UFC light heavyweight history.[97]

Jones faced Alexander Gustafsson on September 21, 2013, at UFC 165.[98] Jones was badly cut above the eye during the first round,[99] but he powered through it, and eventually won the back-and-forth fight via a controversial unanimous decision (48–47, 48–47, and 49–46). After the match, Jones said Gustafsson gave him the toughest fight of his career, and both were sent to the hospital for their injuries.[100] Both men suffered lacerations and facial swelling, though Jones' appeared to be worse for the wear. Both combatants were released from the hospital with no broken bones or serious injuries.[101][102] The bout also earned both fighters the Fight of the Night bonus award.[103] The match received numerous positive characterizations: "an epic battle",[104][105] "instant-classic",[106] "Fight of the Year",[107] "Greatest light heavyweight title fight of all-time",[108] "one of the greatest fights in UFC history".[109]

Jones was expected to take on Glover Teixeira on February 1, 2014, at UFC 169.[110] However, on October 7, UFC President Dana White stated that the announcement for this fight on that card was premature and that Jones and Teixeira would face each other on a different card.[111] On November 13, 2013, it was announced that Jones would fight Glover Teixeira at UFC 170, scheduled for February 22, 2014,[112] however the next day it was announced that the match had been scratched from the card.[113] On December 4, 2013, it was announced that Jones and Teixeira would face each other at UFC 171 on March 15, 2014, in Dallas, Texas,[114] however, the fight was moved again. Jones and Teixeira finally fought on April 26, 2014, at UFC 172.[115] Jones won the bout via unanimous decision (50–45, 50–45, and 50–45).[116]

On April 27, 2014, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Jones would next have a rematch against Gustafsson, and stated the possibility of the match taking place in a stadium in Sweden on pay-per-view.[117][118] On May 24, 2014, it was indicated that the rematch would take place in Las Vegas on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177.[119] The statement, and the time and venue, was not official however, because Gustafsson was the only one who still had agreed to accept the match.[120][121] On June 2, the fight was still on hold, and UFC President Dana White explained the situation as: "Jones doesn't want to fight Gustafsson", Jones instead expressed his preference for fighting Daniel Cormier.[122][123][124]

On June 5, 2014, the UFC confirmed that the Jones vs. Gustafsson rematch would take place on September 27, 2014, at UFC 178.[125] However, Gustafsson had to pull out of the match due to a torn meniscus. Jones was then expected to take on replacement Daniel Cormier at UFC 178.[126] On August 12, 2014, it was announced that Jones had sustained a leg injury in training, causing him to withdraw from UFC 178 in his scheduled fight against Cormier. The bout was rescheduled, and eventually took place on January 3, 2015, at UFC 182.[127] Jones won the fight by unanimous decision (49–46, 49–46, and 49–46), losing only one round to Cormier.[128] He also became the first person to take Cormier down, scoring three takedowns in total. The win also earned Jones his fourth Fight of the Night bonus award.[129] It was later revealed that Jones failed a drug test one month prior to the event, as he tested positive for cocaine. (see below in Controversies)[130]

First suspension and return

Jones was expected to defend his title against Anthony Johnson on May 23, 2015, at UFC 187.[131] However, on April 28, Jones was stripped of the belt and suspended from the UFC indefinitely in connection with a hit-and-run incident.[132] Cormier, who lost against Jones at UFC 182 in January 2015, replaced him and went on to defeat Anthony Johnson to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.[133]

On October 23, 2015, the UFC announced that Jones had been reinstated to the active roster, nearly six months after his suspension was announced.[134]

A rematch with Daniel Cormier was expected to take place on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197.[135] However, Cormier pulled out of the fight on April 1, citing a foot injury, and was replaced by Ovince Saint Preux.[136][137] Jones defeated Saint Preux by unanimous decision (50–44, 50–45, and 50–45).[138]

Second suspension and return

The rematch with Cormier had been rescheduled, and was expected to take place on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200.[139] However, on July 6, 2016, Jones was removed from the bout by USADA on June 16 after a potential doping violation.[140]

On November 7, 2016, it was announced that Jones had been suspended for one year by USADA, retroactive to July 7. Two days later, it was announced that Jones had been stripped of his interim title, making him the first fighter in UFC history to be stripped of a title twice. On December 15, Jones was also suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for one year.

While on the sidelines, he faced off retired UFC fighter Dan Henderson in a grappling match for the Submission Underground 2 tournament on December 14. For the first minutes of the match, both fighters jockeyed for position against the cage. When Jones saw an opening, he went for a far-side duck under (aka superduck) and took Henderson to the ground, where he eventually submitted him via an arm-triangle choke at 6:39 minutes. Following the fight, Jones expressed his interest in grappling with Chael Sonnen.[141]

Third suspension and return

The rematch with Daniel Cormier took place on July 29, 2017, at UFC 214 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Jones won the fight and re-captured the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship via knockout in the third round after a head kick and a barrage of strikes on the ground.[142] After the fight, Jones was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[143] Furthermore, Jones praised Cormier as a "model champion", while recognizing his own personal failings. He then called out Brock Lesnar, challenging him to a fight.[144]

On August 22, it was announced that Jones was flagged for a potential doping violation by USADA, stemming from his test sample that was collected after weigh-ins July 28. He tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Jones was placed on a provisional suspension as a result of the positive drug test.[28] On September 13, USADA confirmed that both the "A" and "B" sample of Jones' tested positive for Turinabol.[145] As a result, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) officially overturned the result of the fight to a no contest. Subsequently, UFC President Dana White made the decision to strip him of the Light Heavyweight championship, and turn it over to Daniel Cormier.[146]

In September 2018 it was announced by USADA that Jones would serve a suspension of 15 months. From a potential suspension of 48 months USADA applied a reduction of 30 months for Jones' co-operation in identifying other anti-doping offences, and a further 3 months was applied by arbitrators McLaren in relation to Jones' degree of fault.[147]

Second UFC Light Heavyweight Championship reign

On October 10, 2018, it was announced that Jones would be making his return at UFC 232 on December 29, 2018, in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.[148] Jones defeated Gustafsson by technical knockout in the third round to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.[149]

In the first defense of his second UFC Light Heavyweight Championship reign, Jones faced Anthony Smith on March 2, 2019, in the main event at UFC 235.[150] Jones dominated the fight, but was deducted two points in the fourth round after landing an illegal knee to Smith's head while he was deemed a downed opponent. He won the fight via unanimous decision with all three judges submitting 48–44 scorecards for Jones.[151]

Jones faced Thiago Santos on July 6, 2019, in the main event at UFC 239.[152] He won the back-and-forth match via split decision, defending his UFC Light Heavyweight title for the second time in his second reign.[30]

Training

Jon Jones kicking a punching bag in training

Jones initially trained with Team BombSquad out of Cortland, New York, then briefly with the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada and most recently at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[153] He also trained as a power-lifter during his suspension from the UFC.[154]

Fighting style

Jon Jones posing with Marines at Camp Pendleton in 2010

Jones stands out by his high adaptability and flawless technique in the cage, which have gained him the appellatives of "one of the most dynamic, innovative, and constantly evolving fighters in the history of MMA"[155] and "perhaps the greatest martial artist ever to step into an Octagon".[156] A striking specialist, Jones capitalizes on his great range and defensive wrestling to land blows in a creative, unorthodox style.[157] He employs a diverse kicking technique, favoring front kicks to the body and head, roundhouse kicks to the legs and upper body, and his most known technique, the "oblique kick", a controversial move that targets his opponent's knee.[157][158] Jones also excels in the clinch, where he is skilled at controlling his adversary's arms and scoring elbow and knee strikes. On the ground, he is characterized by his great positional control and ability to find openings for punches and elbow strikes.[156]

Personal life

Jones and his fiancée Jessie[159][160] have three daughters: Leah, born in 2008; Carmen Nicole Jones, born in 2009; and Olivia Haven born in 2013. In an interview with Joe Rogan on December 1, 2016, Jones stated that he has four daughters (aged 9, 8, 6 and 3), indicating a daughter born before Leah.[161]

Jones is a Christian,[162] and has "Philippians 4:13" tattooed on the right side of his chest.

Jon's older brother, Arthur is a former American football defensive lineman who played for the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, while the Jones' younger brother, Chandler, is an outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals.[163] His older sister, Carmen, died of brain cancer before her eighteenth birthday.[164][165]

On March 19, 2011, Jones was en route to Great Falls Historic Park in Paterson, New Jersey,[166] where he planned to meditate several hours ahead of his fight against Maurício "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. He was accompanied by his coaches Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson. As their driver prepared to drop them off, Jones observed an elderly couple screaming for help. The woman informed Winkeljohn that a man had smashed her car window and had run off with her GPS. Jones, along with his two coaches, chased after the robber, caught and tripped him, and held him down until the police arrived.[167][168]

On August 8, 2012, Jones became the first mixed martial artist to be sponsored by Nike on an international scale. Anderson Silva and Yoshihiro Akiyama have signed regional deals with Nike in the past, but Jones was the first to represent Nike globally.[169] He is also the first fighter in MMA history to have his own shoe line.[170] Jones was the first MMA fighter to represent Gatorade and MuscleTech in the Octagon.[171]

Jon Jones with Lorenzo Fertitta and Glover Teixeira at a U.S. Senate event in 2014

On December 16, 2014, Jones announced that he had signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok.[172] However, on April 29, 2015, Reebok terminated their sponsorship following Jones's involvement in a hit-and-run incident.[173] A day later, Jones also lost his sponsorship with MuscleTech.[174]

Controversies

On December 5, 2009, in his bout with Matt Hamill, Jones was disqualified for using illegal elbows. However, despite instant replay being used to make the decision, Dana White still claimed that the loss should not have counted and should have been a no contest.[175]

In the early morning of May 19, 2012, Jones drove his Bentley Continental GT into a pole in Binghamton, New York. Jones was arrested for driving under the influence and was bailed out several hours later by his mother.[176] He pleaded guilty to DUI charges and ended up paying a $1,000 fine, installing ignition interlocks on all of his vehicles, had to complete a victims impact class, and had his drivers license suspended for six months.[177]

UFC 151, scheduled to premiere on September 1, 2012, was cancelled due to Jones declining to fight Chael Sonnen, a last-minute replacement for Dan Henderson. In the 19-year history of the UFC, it was the first card to ever be cancelled. UFC president Dana White went on record saying, "this is one of the most selfish, disgusting decisions that doesn't just affect you. This is affecting 16 other lives, their families, kids are going back to school. The list goes on and on of all the things, the money that was spent for fighters to train and the list goes on and on. Like I said, I don't think this is going to make Jon Jones popular with the fans, sponsors, cable distributors, television network executives or other fighters."[178]

Jones has been criticized for repeatedly poking his opponents in the eyes. In response to the criticism, Jones released a video over Instagram, in which he mocked fans by simulating crying, which has since been deleted. Dana White then stated, "we've got to stop that stuff. The openings of the hands and putting the hands on the face are something bad, but it happens with guys who have reach. They do that a lot."[179] White later clarified his point, saying, "It's not just taller fighters. Jones has that range and he can do it, but lots of guys do it because that’s how you block punches. So you keep your hands open and you slap punches down. Then guys are rushing in and you’re doing whatever, and guys get poked in the eyes." He also noted that in the fight against Glover Teixeira, after Jones was warned about the behavior, he was more careful to avoid any eye pokes throughout the rest of the match, a move he claimed Jones "would not [be] credited for" from detractors.[180] Jones later responded to the controversy in an interview, saying, "I realize that I do it. I realize the criticism that I got from it. It’s not on purpose. If you watch my fights, it’s me extending my arm in a reactionary way. I do put a hand on people’s foreheads to maintain distance. That’s what you saw [against] Teixeira, but to say I am purposely poking people in the eye, it’s just inaccurate."[181]

On April 14, 2014, Jones was accused of writing homophobic slurs to a Swedish man over Instagram. In response, Jones stated that his phone was stolen and his account was hacked.[182]

On January 6, 2015, it was announced that Jones failed a drug test prior to UFC 182. He tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite of cocaine.[130] Because benzoylecgonine is not banned out-of-competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the NSAC could not halt Jones from participating during UFC 182. He was randomly tested on December 3, 2014, and results came back on December 23, 2014. A week after his first test, Jones was tested again. He passed the second test, which meant that the cocaine metabolite was out of his system before the fight. When the news was made public, Jones went into rehab for one night.[130][183][184] He was fined $25,000 on January 17 for violating the UFC's Athlete Code of Conduct policy.[185] On January 19, 2015, Jones was interviewed for the first time since the failed drug test and said: "...I'm not a cocaine addict by any means or not even a frequent user. I just made a really dumb decision and got caught with my pants down in this whole situation."[186]

Daniel Cormier altercation

During a promotional event for UFC 178, on August 4, 2014, Jones and Daniel Cormier briefly scuffled during an on-stage staredown, initiated by Jones pressing his forehead against Cormier's forehead, prompting Cormier to shove Jones by the throat, to which Jones responded by throwing a punch.[187] Both fighters were restrained by coaches and event organizers. UFC chief legal officer Kirk Hendrick said "there are going to be ramifications". In addition, the Nevada State Athletic Commission requested a video copy of the altercation.[188] On September 23, 2014, Jones was fined $50,000 and was ordered to undergo 40 hours of community service by the Nevada Athletic Commission.[189] During the disciplinary hearing, Jones claimed losing a six-figure endorsement deal with Nike, but later admitted to fabricating the statement.[190][191]

Hit-and-run incident

On April 27, 2015, Albuquerque, New Mexico police confirmed that Jones was sought in connection with a hit-and-run early the previous morning. Jones was alleged to have run a red light and crashed his rental car in a collision involving two other vehicles. Jones allegedly fled the scene of the crash on foot, leaving an injured pregnant woman behind in another vehicle. The accident was witnessed by an off-duty police officer who identified the suspect as an African American man, wearing a white shirt and dark pants, which he believed was Jones.[192][193] According to witnesses, the man described as Jones then returned to the scene to grab cash from the vehicle before fleeing again. Paperwork found in the rental car was under the name of "Jonathan Jones". Inside the silver Buick SUV, law enforcement found a pipe of marijuana with marijuana inside of it.[194] Though initially wanted for questioning that could have resulted in a simple misdemeanor, Jones' charges were elevated to a felony on April 27 for injuring a person and purposely leaving the scene of an accident.[195]

An arrest warrant was issued against Jones, and surrender arrangements were made between law enforcement and Jones' lawyers.[196] That evening, Jones turned himself in to the Albuquerque Police Department.[197] Later that evening, Jones posted bail of $2,500 and left the Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center.[198] He made a court appearance on April 28 and did not enter a plea. The judge lifted any travel restrictions, and Jones was allowed to remain free, as long as he remained in contact with his lawyer, and followed certain conditions.[199] With a pending UFC fight still in his contract, UFC President Dana White and Zuffa, LLC owner Lorenzo Fertitta traveled to New Mexico from Las Vegas to meet with Jones in person. Jones apologized to his fans on Twitter by saying, "Got a lot of soul searching to do. Sorry to everyone I've let down."[200] That same day, the UFC stripped Jones of the title, removed him from the official rankings, and suspended him indefinitely.[201] In an official statement released that day, the UFC stated that Jones was stripped from his belt for violating the Athlete Code of Conduct Policy. The UFC believed that this was the right move, because it gave Jones enough time to focus on his legal problems, but later stated that they would remain supportive of Jones during the process.[202]

On September 29, 2015, Jones pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was subsequently sentenced to up to 18 months of supervised probation. He was authorized to travel for work-related purposes. Jones met all of the conditions, which included 72 separate appearances for charity or youth outreach, avoiding a felony charge on his criminal record.[203]

In an interview in December 2016, Jones stated that he did in fact run from the scene of the traffic accident and did not check on the occupant of the other vehicle.[204]

Failed drug tests

Prior to his UFC 182 bout with Daniel Cormier, Jones' testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio was considered by some experts to be alarmingly low. Victor Conte, a former steroid distributor, who founded and led the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), said of Jones' suspicious test "these (levels) are highly suspicious for Jon Jones, in my opinion. This is the reason that sophisticated anti-doping officials do target testing. So based on what we see here, my opinion is Jon Jones should be on a very short leash and should be random tested here until they sort out why he has these anomalies."[205] This resulted in several journalists imploring the NSAC to utilize CIR (Carbon Isotope Ratio) testing on Jones' samples. "Luckily, this is a situation where speculation could quickly be ended. Jon Jones' drug test samples still exist and a simple Carbon Isotope Ratio test could be conducted to find the result. Put simply, a CIR test would be able to determine if the testosterone in Jones' system was synthetic or natural," Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow wrote.[206] However, according to NSAC executive director Bob Bennett, Jones' test samples had already undergone CIR testing by the same WADA-accredited lab which had reported his T/E ratios, noting that all CIR results came back clean.[207] Additionally, he said there were three different types of tests done during each of the random tests: urine, blood testing for human growth hormone and a blood passport test. "The only negative was testing positive for cocaine metabolites," Bennett said.[208]

On July 8, 2016, a urine sample from Jones tested positive for two banned substances, clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic substance, and letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, prior to his scheduled championship bout with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. The violation was from an "A" sample collection on June 16, with subsequent testing of the B sample confirming the doping. Both drugs are on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned substances list, are described as "hormone and metabolic modulators" which are not allowed to be used in or out of competition.[209][210] As a result, Jones had to withdraw from the event, and was replaced by former middleweight champion Anderson Silva.[211] Throughout the ordeal, Jones maintained his innocence, claiming that he was the victim of a contaminated product that he believed to be Cialis, which was later independently obtained, tested and found to be contaminated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.[212]

On November 7, 2016, it was announced that Jones was issued a 1-year suspension by USADA following his arbitration hearing, though the arbitration panel concluded that Jones did not take the banned substances intentionally, and was not a drug cheat.[213]

On August 22, 2017, it was announced that Jones was flagged for a potential doping violation by USADA, stemming from his test sample that was collected after weigh-ins on July 28. He tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Jones was placed on a provisional suspension as a result of the positive drug test, and was afforded a full adjudication process.[28] On September 13, the CSAC announced that it had overturned the result of Jones' fight with Cormier to a no-contest, after both Jones' A and B samples tested positive for Turinabol.[214] Jones stated that he did not knowingly take any prohibited substances,[215] with his team believing Jones consumed tainted substances. Jones potentially faced up to a 4-year suspension if found guilty,[216] but instead, was handed a 15-month suspension by USADA on September 18, from the retroactive date of July 28,[217] plus three months community service.[218] 30 months were deducted from the 4-year suspension because Jones provided "substantial assistance" to USADA. "Substantial assistance" refers to an athlete helping an anti-doping agency with "discovering or bringing forward an Anti-Doping Policy Violation" by another athlete or something else that "results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or bringing forward a criminal offense or the breach of professional rules committed" by another person.[219] USADA said it reduced the suspension further down to 15 months after an evidentiary hearing with an independent arbitrator, Richard McLaren, on September 15.[217] Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA, said in a statement: "The independent arbitrator found that Jon Jones was not intentionally cheating in this case, and while we thought 18-months was the appropriate sanction given the other circumstances of the case, we respect the arbitrator’s decision and believe that justice was served. This case is another strong reminder that athletes need to be extremely cautious about the products and supplements they use to ensure they are free of prohibited substances."[220]

Jones became eligible to fight again as of October 28, 2018,[221] and was scheduled to perform at UFC 232 in Las Vegas on December 29. However, after further inconsistencies arose with his drug test on December 23, he was not granted a license to compete in Nevada, and the event was moved to Los Angeles.[222] In order to get licensed by CSAC, Jones had to enroll into VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) testing program, thus making him the first UFC fighter to be signed to both USADA and VADA testing programs simultaneously.[223] Drug tests administered at UFC 232 found an ultra trace of turinabol which doctors have attributed as a long-term pulsing effect of the M3 metabolite detected in 2017. CSAC will not take disciplinary action against Jones as the medical experts stood by their previous statement that there was no evidence that Jones had re-administered a banned substance and no performance-enhancing benefits.[224]

Battery charge

On July 21, 2019, it was reported that Jones had been charged with battery for an alleged incident dating back to April 2019 involving a cocktail waitress at TD's Eubank Showclub in Albuquerque. The alleged victim, a waitress at the establishment, claims that Jones slapped her, put her in a choke hold and kissed her on the neck, and touched her after she had asked him to stop. Jones failed to show up to a bond arraignment for the battery charge in June 2019, which he claimed he was not aware of the charge and has since paid $300 for lifting the warrant where he denied the allegation.[225][226] The bench trial of the case is set on September 26, 2019, and a maximum of six months in jail, up to a $500 fine and face up to six months of probation if he is convicted.[227]

Championships and accomplishments

Jon Jones with fans at UFC 100 Fan Expo, Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas

Mixed martial arts

Amateur wrestling

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
27 matches 25 wins 1 loss
By knockout 10 0
By submission 6 0
By decision 9 0
By disqualification 0 1
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 25–1 (1) Thiago Santos Decision (split) UFC 239 July 6, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 24–1 (1) Anthony Smith Decision (unanimous) UFC 235 March 2, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones was deducted two points in round 4 after landing an illegal knee.
Win 23–1 (1) Alexander Gustafsson TKO (punches) UFC 232 December 29, 2018 3 2:02 Inglewood, California, United States Won the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
NC 22–1 (1) Daniel Cormier NC (overturned) UFC 214 July 29, 2017 3 3:01 Anaheim, California, United States For the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Originally a KO (head kick and punches) win for Jones; overturned and Jones stripped of the title after testing positive for turinabol.
Win 22–1 Ovince Saint Preux Decision (unanimous) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Jones was stripped of the title after testing positive for clomiphene and letrozole prior to a title unification bout against Daniel Cormier.
Win 21–1 Daniel Cormier Decision (unanimous) UFC 182 January 3, 2015 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night. Jones was stripped of the title after violating the UFC's Athlete Code of Conduct policy.
Win 20–1 Glover Teixeira Decision (unanimous) UFC 172 April 26, 2014 5 5:00 Baltimore, Maryland, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 19–1 Alexander Gustafsson Decision (unanimous) UFC 165 September 21, 2013 5 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 18–1 Chael Sonnen TKO (elbows and punches) UFC 159 April 27, 2013 1 4:33 Newark, New Jersey, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 17–1 Vitor Belfort Submission (americana) UFC 152 September 22, 2012 4 0:54 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Submission of the Night.
Win 16–1 Rashad Evans Decision (unanimous) UFC 145 April 21, 2012 5 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 15–1 Lyoto Machida Technical Submission (standing guillotine choke) UFC 140 December 10, 2011 2 4:26 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 14–1 Quinton Jackson Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 135 September 24, 2011 4 1:14 Denver, Colorado, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 13–1 Maurício Rua TKO (punches and knees) UFC 128 March 19, 2011 3 2:37 Newark, New Jersey, United States Won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 12–1 Ryan Bader Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 126 February 5, 2011 2 4:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 11–1 Vladimir Matyushenko TKO (elbows) UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko August 1, 2010 1 1:52 San Diego, California, United States
Win 10–1 Brandon Vera TKO (elbow and punches) UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones March 21, 2010 1 3:19 Broomfield, Colorado, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 9–1 Matt Hamill DQ (illegal downward elbows) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale December 5, 2009 1 4:14 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 Jake O'Brien Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 2 2:43 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 Stephan Bonnar Decision (unanimous) UFC 94 January 31, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–0 André Gusmão Decision (unanimous) UFC 87 August 9, 2008 3 5:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Win 6–0 Moyses Gabin TKO (punches) Battle Cage Xtreme 5 July 12, 2008 2 1:58 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won the USKBA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Parker Porter KO (punch) World Championship Fighting 3 June 20, 2008 1 0:36 Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States
Win 4–0 Ryan Verrett TKO (punches) USFL: War in the Woods 3 May 9, 2008 1 0:14 Ledyard, Connecticut, United States
Win 3–0 Anthony Pina Submission (guillotine choke) Ice Fighter April 25, 2008 1 1:15 Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Win 2–0 Carlos Eduardo KO (punch) Battle Cage Xtreme 4 April 19, 2008 3 0:24 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Light Heavyweight debut.
Win 1–0 Brad Bernard TKO (punches) FFP: Untamed 20 April 12, 2008 1 1:32 Boxborough, Massachusetts, United States Catchweight (210 lbs) bout.

[266]

Grappling record

5 Matches, 5 Wins (5 Submissions)
Result Rec. Opponent Method Event Division Date Location
Win 5–0 United States Dan Henderson Submission (arm-triangle choke) Submission Underground 2 Superfight December 14, 2016 United States Portland, OR
Win 4–0 United States Rich O'Toole Submission (guillotine choke) NAGA Phoenix Absolute October 15, 2016 United States Phoenix, AZ
Win 3–0 United States Dan Daubert Submission (guillotine choke)
Win 2–0 United States Doug Fournet Submission (kimura) Northeastern Grappler's Challenge Absolute January, 2008 United States Ithaca, NY[267]
Win 1–0 United States Doug Fournet Submission (kimura)

Pay-per-view bouts

No. Event Fight Date Venue City PPV Buys
1. UFC 128 Shogun vs. Jones March 19, 2011 Prudential Center Newark, New Jersey, U.S 445,000
2. UFC 135 Jones vs. Rampage September 24, 2011 Pepsi Center Denver, Colorado, U.S 520,000
3. UFC 140 Jones vs. Machida December 10, 2011 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada 485,000
4. UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans April 21, 2012 Philips Arena Atlanta, Georgia, U.S 700,000
5. UFC 152 Jones vs. Belfort September 22, 2012 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada 450,000
6. UFC 159 Jones vs. Sonnen April 27, 2013 Prudential Center Newark, New Jersey, U.S 530,000
7. UFC 165 Jones vs. Gustafsson September 21, 2013 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada 310,000
8. UFC 172 Jones vs. Teixeira April 26, 2014 Royal Farms Arena Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. 350,000
9. UFC 182 Jones vs. Cormier January 3, 2015 MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. 800,000
10. UFC 197 Jones vs. Saint Preux April 23, 2016 MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. 322,000
11. UFC 214 Cormier vs. Jones 2 July 29, 2017 Honda Center Anaheim, California, U.S. 860,000
12. UFC 232 Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 December 29, 2018 The Forum Inglewood, California, U.S. 700,000
13. UFC 235 Jones vs. Smith March 2, 2019 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. 650,000
Total sales 7,122,000

See also

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Maurício Rua
12th UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
March 20, 2011 – April 28, 2015
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Daniel Cormier
Vacant
Title last held by
Randy Couture
2nd UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Champion
April 23, 2016 – November 9, 2016
Stripped
Vacant
Vacant
Title last held by
Daniel Cormier
14th UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
December 29, 2018 – Present
Incumbent