Jon Jones Avoiding Jail After Guilty Plea for DWI Could Be His Last Chance to Prove He Can Change

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has received his punishment after his latest run-in with the law.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has received his punishment after his latest run-in with the law. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jon Jones has had a UFC career like no other. Despite consistently staking his claim as the single best fighter in the organization over the past decade, "Bones" has had trouble staying away from run-ins with law enforcement, and it has tarnished his legacy as a result. After his latest arrest last week, many feared this may finally be the end of the road for the light heavyweight champion in his effort to avoid a jail cell.

Incredibly, it seems Jones has managed to avoid the slammer once again. Whether he had forgiving prosecutors, an incredible legal team, or a stroke of divine luck, Jones struck a plea deal that won't land him behind bars, but does require him to wear an ankle bracelet and serve a period of probation and community service. Considering his past legal history with substance abuse and issues behind the wheel, that is a huge victory for Jones -- and one he needs to appreciate before he runs out of chances.

Avoiding jail time most likely means that Jones will not be stripped of his championship belt. Even though he will be under supervised probation for a year, the coronavirus pandemic means potentially months of without fights, and thus preserving Jones' hold on the belt for better or for worse. But that shouldn't distract from the fact that Jones has disappointed fans again, and must now work once again to repair an already fractured relationship.

He needs to seize this opportunity, because his next serious legal dust-up will be his last if he has any designs on ever being regarded as the mixed martial arts GOAT.

He can apologize all he wants, but the fact is that we have seen this before from Jones. We thought he was finally on the right path and wouldn't have to deal with incidents like this ever again. If it wasn't for his status, Dana White would have kicked him out years ago.

Now, Jones must prove once and for all that he really can change.