Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been reinstated by UFC following a “review of the plea agreement” with officials, Fox Sports reports.
Jon Jones, also known as “Bones,” was put on indefinite suspension by UFC after he was arrested in April for his involvement in a hit-and-run accident in Mexico. Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight belt as part of the punishment handed down by the organization. In Jones’ absence, Daniel Cormier won the title by defeating Anthony Johnson and then successfully defended the title against Alexander Gustafsson.
The UFC said that the date of Jon Jones’ first fight in the Octagon since his suspension is still pending but has made it clear that an official fight will be announced soon.
“Effective immediately, Jones is eligible to return to competition.”
As a condition for his reinstatement to the UFC, Jon Jones is expected to comply with the terms of the plea agreement, which includes mandatory community service.
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta released a statement following Jon Jones’ reinstatement.
“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.
“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.”
Jones pleaded guilty on one charge during his trial in New Mexico back on September 29. He was then sentenced to 18 months probation and mandatory community service. Jones was eventually cleared on Friday following an investigation of the plea agreement by law firm Campbell and Williams.
“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,” said Jones.
Jon Jones, meanwhile, took to Facebook on Friday to express his excitement at the prospect of fighting again in the Octagon.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to resume my career and I am excited to show how much I’ve grown as a person outside of the Octagon. It took me losing almost everything I had worked for to realize how much I had.
“I am blessed and humbled by the continued support of the MMA community and I can’t thank my fans enough for their unwavering support through my ups and downs. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and my career and let me assure you, the best is yet to come.”
Jones being Jones, he also posted a video on Instagram where he’s seen dancing to “Welcome Back” by Mase.
Jon Jones posted this on Instagram He's dancing to "Welcome back" by Mase Bones is excited to make his return pic.twitter.com/JvGJQwN2JQ
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) October 23, 2015
Jones was promised a title shot by the UFC, so there’s a big probability that he’ll be facing Cormier for the light heavyweight championship as soon as a date and location are announced by officials. Before his suspension, Jon’s last fight took place last January at UFC 182, where he beat Cormier via decision.
As previously reported in the Inquisitr, Daniel Cormier wants a rematch with Jon Jones for his “journey to be complete.”
With UFC lifting the suspension on Jon Jones, it looks like Daniel has gotten his wish. And this just in: Daniel Cormier had a few words to say about Jones’ reinstatement.
“Congrats to Jon ‘Bones’ Jones on his reinstatement to the UFC. For MMA fans this is a good day. A guy that has shown to be one of the greatest fighters of all time is back. As a competitor there could be no other outcome and this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. Jon has said the right things and his actions are backing his words up. We all hope this is the last time we have to deal with anything like that. And lastly as a fan u get to see see 2 of the best fighters compete against each other. With that being said I can’t wait to compete against him again.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 23, 2015
[Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images]