ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will have to take anger management and driver improvement classes and do more community service for violating his probation from a previous hit-and-run crash.
Jones appeared in court Thursday in Albuquerque, where the New York native lives and trains. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit and had his hands cuffed after having spent three days in jail.
His latest legal troubles came after being stopped last week for allegedly drag racing in downtown Albuquerque, not far from his gym. He was issued five traffic citations but has denied the allegations.
His attorneys reiterated during Thursday’s hearing that they would fight the latest accusations.
“We believe they’re bogus,” attorney Nancy Hollander said of the citations. “We believe he was profiled, but that’s obviously for another day.”
Hollander said the important thing is when the Albuquerque police officer stopped Jones last week, the fighter was sober. She said it’s significant that Jones has been sober for six months.
Jones also has made 76 public appearances amounting to 125 hours of community service as part of his probation stemming from the previous case, Hollander said.
The UFC reinstated the former champion in October, lifting what had been an indefinite suspension after its lawyers reviewed his plea agreement stemming from the hit-and-run crash in which a pregnant motorist was injured.
UFC officials said at the time that this would be a new opportunity for Jones and that there would be significant expectations regarding his conduct moving forward. Earlier this week, officials said they were in touch with Jones’ legal team but declined to comment further.
Jones is scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier at the end of April in Las Vegas for the light heavyweight title.
Jones was considered the most dominant champion in MMA until his turbulent personal life knocked him out of the cage. He defended his 205-pound title eight consecutive times after winning it in March 2011 to become the youngest champion in UFC history.
Jones beat the previously unbeaten Cormier by a clear unanimous decision at UFC 182 in early 2015, but his string of misbehaviors culminated in that April 2015 crash in Albuquerque.
Police say officers were told by witnesses that Jones ran from a crash that hospitalized a pregnant motorist and then returned to his rental car to grab a wad of cash, leaving behind a pipe with marijuana and rental car documents in his name.
Jones pleaded guilty in September to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. He has completed one-third of the 18 months of supervised probation that were ordered.
Prosecutors said during Thursday’s hearing that this marks Jones’ third chance. Just last week, he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to more community service for separate traffic violations stemming from a stop in January.
After accepting the latest probation conditions, Judge Michael Martinez warned Jones: “If you come back, it won’t go well.”