Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recently went into great detail with MMA Fighting about the issues that came along with his hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jones said in the in-depth interview that he told the UFC that he did not want to go on with his scheduled title defense fight at UFC 187 and wanted a break with all his legal issues on hand, which lead to the UFC stripping him of his title and suspending him (transcribed by Bloody Elbow):
“I really have a feeling that if I was ready to fight, they would have let me fight,” Jones said. “Especially because there was no court date. I wasn’t proven guilty of anything at the time. I feel as if they would have let me fight. For sure.”
“I told them do whatever you guys have to do.”
The UFC has since responded to Jones’ claim, stating that Jones’ decision to not fight at UFC 187 had nothing to do with their judgment to suspend him and strip him of his title.
From MMA Fighting:
“A UFC official told MMA Fighting that Jones’ claim is “100 percent inaccurate” and the decision to strip him of the title was made before a meeting between Jones and the organization ever took place. The official said that execs flew to Albuquerque to offer their support, as well as inform him of their decision to strip him of the belt face to face. The UFC official added that the organization stayed in close communication with Jones, his manager and his publicist throughout the legal process. Execs also flew down to Albuquerque the day of Jones’ plea hearing and attended the court proceedings.”