Jon Jones is officially back with the UFC, with the organization announcing on Friday that they’ve officially reinstated their former Light Heavyweight Champion.
Jones was stripped of the title and suspended in April after a hit and run accident in Albuquerque that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm. Jones reached a plea deal on that charge earlier this month, and the UFC is bringing him back after a full review of the agreement and a judges decision to grant a conditional discharge.
“We’ve made it clear to Jon that this new opportunity to compete in UFC is a privilege and not a right, and that there are significant expectations we have regarding his conduct moving forward,” said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta in a statement via UFC.com. “We’re happy to read and see reports that he has embraced the terms of his plea agreement and is using this experience to grow and develop as a person.”
“I am thankful to be able to do what I love once again and I look forward to proving myself as a champion in and outside of the Octagon,” Jones said.
Penick’s Analysis: Now that this piece of the puzzle is in place, all that’s left is an official date and location for Jones to once again fight Daniel Cormier. With the former Olympian capturing the title in Jones’ absence, he’s getting the rematch a lot quicker than he would have had Jones’ hit and run not happened. Jones has a lot to prove to the UFC, the fans, and his fellow fighters given his transgressions in the last year, but signs are pointing to him doing what he needs to be doing moving forward. Hopefully he keeps that up, and we don’t see something like this happen again.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]