Former UFC champion Jonathan Dwight Jones, popularly known as Jon Jones, has been arrested in Las Vegas after an incident at Caesars Palace and charged with domestic battery and damaging a vehicle.
Details of the incident that led to the arrest of Jones at 5:45am on Friday (22:45 GMT on Thursday) at the Las Vegas Strip resort were not immediately made public by Las Vegas police.
Jail and court records showed Jones, 34, posted $8,000 bail and was due for an initial court appearance on Saturday, with an October 26 date for prosecutors to file criminal charges. The domestic battery charge is a misdemeanour. The vehicle charge is a felony, with damage reported at more than $5,000.
It was not immediately clear if Jones had a lawyer.
Caesars Entertainment Inc declined to comment, citing an active police investigation.
“JacksonWink Academy is aware of the allegations and is conducting its own review of the matter. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” said James Hallinan, a spokesman for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, gym where Jones trained.
Jones lives in Albuquerque, but he attended a Thursday night UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Park MGM hotel honouring his 2013 fight with Alexander Gustafsson.
Extremely unfortunate news, just hours after his HOF fight induction. Jones’ team declining to publicly comment at this time. https://t.co/InmGvisuoE
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 24, 2021
Jones (26-1, 1 no-contest) had three separate stints as the UFC’s light heavyweight champion from 2011 to 2020, and he is widely considered one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.
But his UFC career has also been defined by misbehaviour outside the cage.
In 2012, a year after becoming the youngest champion in UFC history, Jones was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after crashing his Bentley into a telephone pole in upstate Binghamton, New York.
Jones then lost his title in 2015 when he was arrested and charged with a felony stemming from a hit-and-run accident in New Mexico in which he broke a pregnant driver’s arm.
Jones pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in 2019 after an incident with a waitress at a strip club in Albuquerque, and he was arrested last year in Albuquerque on charges of aggravated DUI and negligent use of a firearm.
Jones has failed several drug tests from the US Anti-Doping Agency, which runs the UFC’s anti-doping programme.
He was forced out of a fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in 2016 after testing positive for two banned substances that he blamed on a sexual enhancement pill.
He then tested positive for an anabolic steroid in 2017, prompting the UFC to strip his light heavyweight title for a second time. The California State Athletic Commission overturned the result of his victory over Cormier at UFC 214, and Jones received a 15-month competitive suspension.
Because of his arrests, suspensions and various disputes with the UFC, Jones has fought only eight times in the last eight years during the ostensible prime of his career. He has not fought since beating Dominick Reyes in February 2020 for his fourth consecutive victory.
Jones relinquished the light heavyweight title last year and said on Thursday prior to the Hall of Fame ceremony that he wants his next bout to be at heavyweight. He told ESPN that he now weighs 115.5kg (255 pounds) and is targeting 270 pounds as his ideal weight.
He is eyeing a fight next year against the winner of a likely upcoming bout between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane. The date has not been made public.
“I want the belt, really. I want the belt, I want big money,” he said.