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A Comprehensive History Of Jon Jones' Run-Ins With The UFC

John Balfe
By John Balfe
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When all is said and done with Jon Jones' career it will be difficult to distinguish between the miracles he performs inside the cage and the self-sabotage he commits outside of it.

Jones isn't the first star of the sporting world to indulge a self-destructive streak but, much like Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods before him, his inability to  danger of overshadowing his entire career. When Mike Tyson entered prison in 1992, he was a phenom of heavyweight boxing. When he was released three years later, he was little more than a plodding brawler.

Woods too has struggled to reclaim the success he had taken for granted when his private life imploded on the front pages of tabloids across the globe.

Jon Jones isn't just at this same crossroads of his career, he's been there for some time already and has taken a wrong turn.

After Jones was involved in a hit and run incident last year he was stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title and this, according to interviews released by the UFC this week, was the 'rock bottom' he needed to reform his character. He stopped 'partying' as he put it, which is sports code for dropping a habitual drug habit (Jones has admitted to marijuana and cocaine use in the past).

He was banned from driving as a result, suspended from his job, lost a slew of high profile endorsements and lost the UFC title which his skillset deserved. This, as he put it, was his rock bottom he needed to change his life.

And now, as Jon Jones stares down the barrel of what might potentially become a two-year doping ban, it's time to examine how the greatest natural talent the sport of MMA has seen became his own worst enemy.


Jon Jones on his succesful return to the cage last April

August 9th, 2008 - Barely five months after making his professional debut and less than a year after he first began training, the 21-year-old Jones makes his UFC debut on two weeks notice against Andre Gusmao. Jones wins by unanimous decision.


December 12th, 2008 - Three months after his UFC debut, Jones loses control of a car he was driving and slides on an icy road into two unoccupied parked cars. No one was injured.

January 18th, 2009 - Jones is again involved in a car accident after the car in which he, his fiance and newborn baby were travelling in allegedly hit a car making a left turn. Jones admitted careless driving.

January 31st, 2009 - Jones defeats future UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar by unanimous decision.


July 11th, 2009 - Jones beats wrestler Jake O'Brien at UFC 100 by second round guillotine choke.

December 5th, 2009 - Jones is disqualified for illegal use of elbows in a match with Matt Hammil which he was clearly winning. This is the only loss on Jones' record to date.

March 21st, 2010 - Jones defeats former top heavyweight contender Brandon Vera by TKO in the first round.


August 1st, 2010 - Jones destroys Vladimir Matyushenkno in less than two minutes in what was being called the biggest challenge of his career.

February 5th, 2011 - Jones bests undefeated prospect Ryan Bader by second round submission. After the fight he is told live on UFC programming that he will replace injured teammate Rashad Evans in a title fight against light heavyweight champion Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.

March 19th, 2011 (afternoon) - Jones and his teammates spot a woman having her handbag stolen near the UFC 128 arena in New Jersey, chase down and apprehend the mugger and detain him until the police arrive.


March 19th, 2011 (evening) - At 23 years old, Jones becomes the youngest champion in UFC history with a dominant victory over 'Shogun'.

September 24th, 2011 - Jones defends his title with a fourth round submission of Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson.

November 24th, 2011 - Jones is spotted by police 'drifting' into the car park of a strip club in Albuquerque. Jones is cited by police for "loss of traction" and driving with a suspended licence.


December 10th, 2011 - Jones submits former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in the second round.

April 21st, 2012 - Jones defeats former friend and teammate Rashad Evans by unanimous decision.

May 19th, 2012 - Jones and two female passengers are involved in an accident in New York when the car he was driving struck a utility pole. Jones was allegedly unsteady on his feet and "politely refused" a sobriety test. He is fined $1,000 and given a six month suspension on his driving licence.

August 23rd, 2012 - Dana White announces that UFC 151, which was to feature a main event of Jon Jones vs Dan Henderson, was to be cancelled after Henderson sustained an injury and Jones refused to fight a replacement opponent.

September 22nd, 2012 - Jones defeats Vitor Belfort to defend his title but came close to losing for the first time after Belfort secured an armbar early in the fight. Jones persevered and won in the fourth.

April 27th, 2013 - Jones beats Chael Sonnen in the first round of their UFC 159 main event.

September 21st, 2013 - Jones defeats Alexander Gustafsson by unanimous decision in a very close five round fight. This was the first time that Jones had ever been taken down in professional competition.

April 26th, 2014 - Jones beats Glover Teixera by unaimous decision.

September 23rd, 2014 - Jones is fined $50,000 and given 40 hours of community service for his role in a pre-fight brawl with Daniel Cormier at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

January 3rd, 2015 - Jones beats rival Daniel Cormier in a five round decision.

January 17th, 2015 - Jones is fined $25,000 after testing positive for cocaine in violation of the UFC's fighter code of conduct.

April 26th, 2015 - Jones is involved in a hit and run accident in Albuquerque in which he breaks the arm of a pregnant woman. He flees the scene before returning to grab items from his car and then flees again.

April 27th, 2015 - After going missing for 24 hours, Jones turns himself into police when named as the lead suspect. He is released after posting his own bail.

April 28th, 2015 - Jones is stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely by the UFC.

September 29th, 2015 - Jones pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and is sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation.

March 28, 2016 - Jones is pulled over by Albuquerque police and questioned about "drag racing". A video of the incident is released and shows Jones using derogatory language to the police officer.

April 23rd, 2016 - Jones returns to competition and wins a unanimous decision over Ovince St. Preux.

July 7th, 2016 - On the eve of his main event against Daniel Cormier, Jones is flagged by USADA for failing an out of competition drug test and removed entirely from UFC 200.

See Also: Watch In Full: Jon Jones' Press Conference After Being Removed From UFC 200

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