Jon Jones was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Saturday morning after crashing his Bentley into a telephone pole. By now we’ve all heard about it and seen the story, but could this hurt his and the UFC’s image?
Jones is supposed to be the new face of the UFC. He’s young, likable and most importantly the champion. The light heavyweight champ had huge hype surrounding him after destroying tough veterans like Stephan Bonnar and Brandon Vera and quickly rose the ranks. He earned his title shot against Shogun Rua and has defended his belt against three former champions.
This is obviously a disappointing thing to see. He made a huge mistake and it definitely is going to affect him, but hopefully for the best. We must remember however, this is a mistake and it’s not uncommon.
Numerous baseball players have been arrested for DUI’s and it hasn’t affected the image of that sport at all. In fact it’s almost been non news. The UFC may receive greater coverage because of the sport, but it’s undeserving.
He’s going to learn from this mistake and I would bet it never happens again. I am in no way condoning his actions, but we need to remember he is a young man and it’s not something uncommon. Yes, he could have hurt someone and thank goodness he didn’t, but it’s no reason to demonize him.
Rampage did far worse when he took police on a high speed chase and more recently former No. 1 MLB draft pick, Matt Bush, nearly killed a motorcyclist after driving intoxicated. That didn’t receive much coverage and the incident seemed to go away rather quickly.
The best thing the UFC, fans and other fighters can do is support Jones in this time of need. Chael Sonnen has already done that. He tweeted Saturday to Jones saying, “@JonnyBones There is no growth without pain. Small price to pay for the lesson learned. Glad you are safe. #gotyourback.”
That may be the best tweet Jones could read at this time. It showed how much his fellow fighters support him in this time and even an outspoken man like Chael Sonnen is there for him.