UFC Strips Jon Jones of Light Heavyweight Title
The UFC stripped its light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones of his title on Tuesday after his latest brush with the law. The decision came one day after Jones turned himself over to police custody on a felony charge in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hit and Run Incident
Jones was reportedly involved in a hit-and-run incident last Sunday morning. Jones allegedly beat a red light and then walked away from a three-car accident not once, but twice. It was reported that Jones fled on foot immediately after the accident but returned moments later to retrieve a “large handful of cash” from his car. A pregnant woman, who was driving the car which Jones vehicle struck, suffered a broken arm and was taken to a hospital. But perhaps the most damning piece was the marijuana and marijuana pipe found in the rental car that Jones drove.
It can be recalled that Jones tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test by the NSAC leading to his UFC 182 title defense against Daniel Cormier. The results of that failed drug test were revealed days after the fight or after Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight belt for the 8th consecutive time against Cormier. The NSAC later said that he was allowed to fight at UFC 182 since the drug test was considered as “non-competition”. Jones voluntarily checked himself in to a Rehabilitation Center and had outpatient therapy.
Pulled out of UFC 187
As a result of his legal woes, Jones wasn’t only stripped of his UFC belt but he was also pulled out from his scheduled title bout against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson on May 23rd. Replacing him will be Daniel Cormier, the man Jones beat last January 3rd. Cormier and Johnson will be fighting for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 187.
Johnson was visibly upset as he was preparing for Jones, but said that he is glad the fight will continue and is looking forward to fighting a worthy title challenger like Daniel Cormier. He is 3-0 as a light heavyweight and is on a nine fight winning streak. Johnson fought mostly as a welterweight during his first stint with the UFC from 2007-2012. Johnson earned his title shot when he knocked out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox in Stockholm, Sweden last January 24.
Cormier meanwhile needs to introduction. A Former Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion, Cormier was also a member of the U.S. Mens Wrestling team during the 2004 Summer Olympics. The 36-year old Cormier is coming off the first loss of his career and was already slated to fight Ryan Bader on June 6 when the UFC came calling. This will be his second consecutive time to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title.
D.C. has opened as the betting favorite at -140 against Rumble Johnson’s +110. Before being removed from the event, Jon Jones was a big -260 favorite over Johnson after being just a -195 favorite over Cormier at UFC 182.
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