Jones was arrested this past Thursday in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., and charged with four offenses including aggravated DWI and negligent use of a firearm. He has since reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he will serve four days of house arrest and one year of probation, among other conditions. At a glance, the punishment appears to be a light one considering the 32-year-old is a second-time offender who was previously convicted of a DUI in 2012.
Prior to the plea agreement being reported, Anik spoke to MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and the veteran UFC commentator could only lament Jones putting himself in another regrettable predicament.
“It’s just sad – it’s sad, right?” Anik said. “It’s embarrassing for his daughters I think mostly, they’re not getting any younger, and as they get older and as he looks like he’s turning over a new leaf or starting to turn the page and become an active champion for the UFC as he was doing late-2018 into 2019, it looked like maybe he was gonna be able to toe that straight-and-narrow, and obviously that was not the case. I think, for me, sad was just the emotion because I really do like the guy.
“If you’re only judging him based upon personal interaction, he’s basically been consistent and genuine with me since I met him in his hotel room in 2011, the day he foiled a robbery before beating Shogun to win the belt. That was the first time I met the guy, we’ve always had a good relationship. I think for me, I’m a girl dad, I see a father of daughters, it makes me very sad. It was hard to watch that officer cam footage, it really was. I just hope that he can somehow find it within him to turn the sadness and the anger into something positive.”
Anik has called many of Jones’s championship bouts over the years, so he’s had a front seat to the highest of his highs, even as Jones has continued to find trouble outside of the cage. In addition to the 2012 DUI and the 2020 DWI, Jones pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after being involved in a hit-and-run in April 2015. That incident led to the end of his first light heavyweight title reign as the UFC stripped him of the belt.
Having essentially grown up in the UFC after making his octagon debut at the age of 21, Jones’s maturation has been a series of stops and starts. Anik believes that he has the right people around him and that it’s now on Jones to realize how far he’s fallen if he hopes to climb out of this hole.
“He’s got a good support system,” Anik said. “He’s got a team, you know I feel bad for that team that has stood by him and hasn’t necessarily reaped the rewards at times that they thought they would. I’m hopeful for Jon Jones, but he’s gonna have to put in the effort if he really wants to affect change.
“Sometimes you’ve got to bottom out to really change something, and I think he bottomed out a few days ago.”