• Evan Mattel

Jon Jones’ Final Fight Will be Against Himself


Image via Al Jazeera


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and the Jon Jones situation with the UFC is insanity. Jones is undoubtedly one of the most gifted fighters to ever grace the octagon, sporting an absurd 84.5-inch reach and a 26-1-0 record with the only loss coming via disqualification. He could have been up there among the greatest fighters in the UFC ever potentially fighting for the coveted GOAT title. However, his talent inside the ring has been overshadowed by his conduct outside of it.

Jones was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery, domestic violence, felony injury, and felony tampering with a vehicle in Nevada. The alleged facts are that Jones went back to his hotel room where his fiancée, Jessie Moses, was asleep, hit her, and pulled her by her hair when she went to leave the room. A Caesar’s Palace guard and police observed blood on Moses and their bedsheets, a bump on her lip, and Moses claimed she felt unsafe going back to the room. Jones allegedly had a dispute with his fiancée before going to a strip club and ultimately returning later. Their children were in the room during the time of the altercation. NRS 200.481: Battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.[1] The evidence and testimony from Moses would suggest Jones has little to no defense against the battery charge. The tampering with a vehicle occurred when Jones smashed his head into a cop car while handcuffed causing more than $5000 in damages, which is the minimum to elevate tampering with a vehicle charge to a category C felony (NRS 193.130). Again, since this was seen by multiple police officers, Jones will have a tough time defending this with the only possibility being a lowering of the charge if his lawyers can prove the damage was under $5000.

This is not the first time Jones has gotten in trouble. He was charged with misdemeanor battery in New Mexico and was arrested last year in 2020 for aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of an open container, and driving with no proof of insurance.[2] Aggravated DWI is a driver was operates a vehicle when they have a .16 BAC or higher and it carries a mandatory 48-hour prison sentence.[3] Negligent use of a firearm under NM Statute 30-7-4: Negligent use of a deadly weapon: carrying a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant or narcotic. Police responded to a gunshot fired which was eventually to have found to come from Jones’ car. He failed the three sobriety tests performed on him, had smelled of alcohol, left an open container of alcohol in his car, and had a gun under the seat of his car. All of these facts led to his conviction as the evidence surrounding the circumstances was overwhelming against Jones. Jones has also already been suspended from the UFC 3 times for banned substances (estrogen blockers that usually cover up steroid use) resulting in over 2 years of suspensions from the and his title being stripped.[4]

UFC Fighter Conduct policy states discipline may be imposed for misconduct which includes: criminal offenses including… the threat of violence, domestic violence, property crimes, disorderly conduct…[5] UFC Disciplinary process launches an investigation and then can fine, suspend, or completely terminate the contract based on the results. Previous violations may be taken into account. UFC encourages fighters to reach out for mental health help and Jones did live in a trauma facility for 30 days to deal with depression in 2018 which would be taken into account in the UFC’s decision. However, in the grand scheme of Jones’ affiliation with the UFC, it’s time he is let go. UFC owner Dana White has a reputation of being more lenient with prized fighters such as Jones, but his conduct is deplorable and any revenue he would bring in via Pay-Per-View would be trumped by the negative connotations behind allowing him to fight again. Seldom do we see someone so immensely talented in the sports world completely tarnish their career and potential longstanding legacy, but Jones is one such case. It’s time to chalk him up as a phenomenal talent who made more headlines outside of the ring than in it and hope he takes the necessary steps to rehabilitate.

Evan Mattel is a 1L at Hofstra Law and serves as a 1L Representative of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. He can be found @Evan_Mattel21 on Twitter.

[1] https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/81st2021/Bills/List (all Nevada statutes) [2] Staff, TMZ. “Jon Jones Arrest, 911 Caller Said Alleged Victim Had Bloody Nose, Mouth.” TMZ. TMZ, October 1, 2021. [3] https://nmml.org/ (all NM statutes) [4] Raimondi, Marc. “Jon Jones Agrees to Plea Deal on Dwi Charge in New Mexico.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, March 31, 2020. [5] Unit4Pt2.Docx - Https\/Canadianmmalawblog.files.wordpress.com\/2013\/04\/Ufc-Code-of-Conduct the UFC Code of Conduct I Chose Is as Follows \u201cderogatory or: Course Hero.”