By now, the latest episode in the ever-continuing saga of Jon Jones is common knowledge. He recently turned himself in to police following allegations that he caused a three-car accident that resulted in an injury to one of the other drivers. Now, according to Jones' manager, Malki Kawa, "it could very well be the last time we've seen Jon Jones in the Octagon."
He went on to explain that the circumstances surrounding the accident could cause Jones to effectively retire from mixed martial arts, due to mental pressure or "because the competition is too much." But Kawa said no matter the reason, it will be Jon Jones' decision and his decision alone.
Kawa is obviously right. But also incredibly wrong.
Jon Jones will indeed be the only person that could (or more correctly, would) stop Jon Jones from fighting again. The UFC wants Jones to compete again, this is a fact. They hate the truly awful headlines that Jon Jones has been responsible for creating, but only because they are now financially obligated to hate them. Since partnering with Reebok, the UFC has been forced to care about bad press (and this is especially bad press) because the success of corporations like Reebok is built on public perception. But truly, the UFC wants Jon Jones in the octagon, because that makes them money. They just want to look good while expediting this legal process as much as possible.
And it's almost certain that Jones will see zero jail time. He has a lot of resources at his disposal to mount a legal defense. The judge who set Jones' bond has already gone easy on him by setting it at $2,500. Jon Jones literally ran back to his half-destroyed car to retrieve more cash than that. For a felony charge, with the amount he's worth, $2,500 is a laughably low bond. In all likelihood, Jones will be back for a fight in early-to-mid 2016.
Unless he decides not to compete. Anything's possible, but Jones has no incentive to stop fighting. He's starting to hit his peak earning potential, he's only 27 years old, and he's somehow still getting better at fighting.
However, the idea that Jon Jones would be under too much pressure, or that he wouldn't be able to handle the competition, is ridiculous. Jones is the baddest man on the planet. He beat an Olympian handily, fighting the exact close-range, clinch fight Daniel Cormier wanted. And then in the post-fight press conference he said he was excited to start training year-round.
Rest assured, Jon Jones will be back.
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