Jon Jones has had several issues when it comes to cars and the law. He's currently on probation for his involvement in a hit-and-run incident back in April 2015. Now he's in hot water again, this time for several traffic infractions including drag racing. Jones wants everyone to know he didn't do anything wrong and is doing his best to get ahead of the story.
He sat down with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to explain that he was pulled over in Albuquerque for several reasons including drag racing in a 35-mph zone.
This really would be a non-issue if it wasn't for that hit-and-run incident. Jones was in a rented SUV when he ran a red light, hitting a car being driven by a pregnant woman. Her arm was broken in the accident.
Jones pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a "conditional discharge" by the Albuquerque judge. All Jones had to do is complete 18 months of probation and 72 hours of community service. If Jones keeps clean, he would not have to serve any jail time and the felony charge would be expunged.
A drag racing charge would put all of that in jeopardy.
According to Jones, he was coming home from dinner when he came to a red light where fans were in a car next to him. He revved his engine to the charge up the fans. They cheered and applauded then the light turned green and he went on his way... At a normal speed. A minute later he was pulled over.
Jones' problems didn't end there. Things between him and the cop that pulled him over got "heated." This led to the fighter being issued 5 different tickets.
"I definitely wasn't drag racing. I got emotional and said some things that I probably shouldn't have said to a police officer."
The body cam footage (seen above) was released to the media and you can clearly see Jones getting emotional. He calls the cop an "absolute fucking liar" and also added:
"I cannot wait for you to prove that I was drag racing, because I know for a fact that I wasn't. But nice try."
Jones didn't stop there.
"I can't fucking believe you. You're ridiculous."
"How do you sleep at night?"
Jones regrets what he said and blames his "getting emotional" was due to a court appearance just a few days prior for a separate traffic incident. In THAT appearance, the judge ordered him not to get any more tickets in the next 90 days. While that ticket would have no affect on his probation, this "drag racing incident" compounded with that... Could.
Albuquerque police confirmed Jones was issued a ticket for drag racing along with an ordinance against a modified exhaust, an illegible license plate, unable to maintain a traffic lane and exhibition driving.
Jones isn't jumping into the conspiracy camp though, he feels the blame should be pinned on one officer.
"I actually have a lot of friends in the department. I doubt that's the case. I think this officer in particular was looking for a DWI or something. He was trying to stick me with one of those and once he realized I was sober, I don't know if he was in a bad mood or whatever, but he was definitely confrontational. He needed something to justify pulling me over. He fabricated the whole thing that I was drag racing."
Jones was suspended from the UFC indefinitely due to the hit-and-run incident and stripped of his light heavyweight title. His rival, Daniel Cormier, captured the title while Jones was suspended. The two are set to rematch in the main event of UFC 197 on April 23.
Jones isn't going to let this drag racing ticket mess with his focus on the Cormier fight. Jones is going to leave the court issues up to the lawyers. Given how he's been mistreated in the press recently, Jones thought it would be better to come out and talk about the incident before anyone could say anything negative.
"This is probably gonna hit the media really soon. I guess I'll talk about it right now before it comes out anywhere else. You can hear it from me first."
As for the UFC, they released their own statement.
"We are aware of the situation and are looking into the matter. We've also been in touch with Jon's team regarding the matter."