Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has gotten one step closer to returning to the UFC, as he was given a conditional discharge by Judge Charles Brown and will serve 18 months of supervised probation following his guilty plea, thus avoiding time behind bars.
Jon Jones was arrested on May 26 on charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury. The police report indicated that Jones ran a red light and crashed his SUV into a car being driven by a pregnant woman, who suffered a broken arm in the crash.
Jones immediately fled the scene of the accident following the crash, but he returned later to grab a handful of money that he had left behind, and then fled the scene once again. The police discovered a marijuana pipe in Jones' vehicle, which is likely the reason why the former UFC champ fled the scene of the accident.
Before today, there was some speculation that Jones would end up spending up to two years in jail, so, he ended up getting off light. After the ruling was handed down, Jones addressed the media and said everything you would expect him to say regarding the hit-and-run, and the judge's ruling.
"With regards to today's decision made by the court, I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me. My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility. I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it. I apologize to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family and friends as well as my supporters. I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life."
Jon Jones was stripped of his UFC light heavyweight championship following his arrest, and his championship is now being held by Daniel Cormier, who Jones defeated handily back in January.
UFC president Dana White, who was in court this morning with Jon Jones, has said that Jones will get an immediate title shot whenever he decides that he is ready to return to the UFC, and his opponent could very well end up being the winner of this weekend's light heavyweight title fight between the champion Daniel Cormier, and the challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Even though Jones defeated Cormier back in January, there is still some intrigue in a rematch between the two. It's a fight that Daniel Cormier wants, as he badly wants to defeat Jon Jones, and solidify his spot as the best light heavyweight in the world.
Alexander Gustafsson is the only person who has come close to defeating Jon Jones during Jones' dominant reign atop the light heavyweight division. In fact, there are some people who believe that "The Mauler" defeated Jones back at UFC 165.
The UFC has been trying to make the Jones vs. Gustafsson rematch since their classic first fight, and they even had a rematch between the two scheduled, but unfortunately, Gustafsson ended up getting injured in training camp, which forced Daniel Cormier to step in and fight Jones.
There's a good chance that the winner of this weekend's UFC light heavyweight title fight will end up fighting Jon Jones at some point in 2016, possibly as early as January or February, if Jones feels like getting back into action that quickly.
[Images via Getty Images]