Controversial former Light Heavyweight UFC champion Jon Jones will be fighting for his life as the future of his freedom is determined in criminal court this Tuesday, September 29th. Appearing before the Judge Charles W. Brown in Albuquerque, N.M. at 8:30 a.m. MT Jones will be entering a plea for his defense in the case that changed the course of his MMA career.
According to state court documents, Jones is facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm or death, which carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail and associated fines. While a simple hit and run would normally be classified as a misdemeanor, the victim of the hit and run (Vanessa Sonnenburg) suffered a broken arm, which raised the charge from misdemeanor to felony.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department Arrest warrant, Jones ran a red light and crashed a rented Buick SUV into another car which was being driven by a pregnant woman on April 26th of 2015. Jones then was alleged to have fled the scene before returning to grab a handful of cash he’d left in his vehicle. Police investigating the accident found a pipe containing marijuana in the car, as well as documents identifying Jones.
State officials have not commented on the chances Jones may have of facing jail time, though the mere severity of the crime and the recent series of public relations set backs plaguing the beleaguered fighter had prompted the UFC to take swift disciplinary action. Should he avoid jail time, it is not known if he will ever be allowed back into the UFC ranks again. Although it’s reasonable to assume the UFC will bend to the will of fans and/or what ever makes the most financial sense for the promotion.