August 15, 2012

UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Arrested for Drunk Driving

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By guest-writer

Jon Jones, one of the most successful mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC, was reportedly arrested last week for a DUI after slamming his 2012 Bentley Continental GT into a telephone pole in Binghamton, New York, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.

Sources say that Jones was arrested at 5:02 a.m. on a Saturday morning after slamming his car into a telephone pole at a Binghamton intersection. There is no word on whether Jones, who is a resident of Ithaca, New York, suffered an injury in the accident.

After his arrest, Jones was charged with a DUI, and he was released to his family after paying an appearance bond.

Until his trial, observers can only speculate about the potential consequences of Jones’ DUI arrest, but sources say that he has had a “squeaky clean image” until this incident, so a judge may have some mercy if he is a first-time offender.

In the meantime, the UFC will sweat over the potential loss of one of its brightest, and most marketable, stars. In a sport that is desperate for good publicity, Jones has been a bright spot, appearing in Bud Lite commercials and flirting with a potential sponsorship with Nike.

Sources say that, in addition to his development into a dominant heavyweight fighter, Jones has also become a huge star at the box office, helping lure fans to UFC events and television viewers to tune into pay-per-view events.

During his last fight, Jones reportedly sold more than 700,000 different units, which represents a big success for UFC’s television numbers. In addition, the fight drew more than 15,000 fans, which helped the UFC net more than $2 million in ticket proceeds.

Before Jones’ ascent to the top of the UFC, previous fighters sullied the league’s reputation with their actions outside the ring.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, for example, was a former UFC champion whose reputation took a hit after he was charged with a hit-and-run felony and reckless driving in California in 2008.

Still, it appears that the UFC will give Jones every opportunity to rehabilitate his public image after he is sentenced for his DUI, which may include a fine, a temporary suspension of his license, or a brief jail sentence.

Sources say that, after the retirement of former stars like Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture, the UFC is concerned about preserving its biggest current star, which is good news for Jones, especially if his judge is a fan of mixed martial arts.

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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