The UFC’s schedule might be backed up due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Jones’ recent legal troubles won’t slow him down, White recently told UFC Brazilian broadcast partner Combate.
“I hope he’ll fight later this year,” White said. “For my part, there will be no penalty.”
Jones in March struck a plea agreement on his second charge of driving under the influence, receiving four days of house arrest to be completed within 90 days, probation, and was also required to complete a remote drug treatment program, in addition to other penalties.
Jones was arrested after failing a sobriety test ordered after police officers in downtown Albuquerque, N.M., responded to a single gunshot and found him in a running Jeep SUV. A search later revealed a 22-caliber pistol and a single shell casing in addition to a nearly empty bottle of Recuerdo mezcal and marijuana.
In a statement, Jones admitted he had an “unhealthy” relationship to alcohol and thanked fans for their support. In recent weeks, he’s been active on social media, sniping with rival fighters and posting videos of training and outdoor activities.
The UFC maintains a code of conduct that specifically prohibits “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the UFC and its partners.” It allows the promotion to investigate alleged criminal activity and sanction athletes who fail to follow its guidelines.
In 2015, the UFC stripped Jones of the light heavyweight title after he was arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm. He was also suspended indefinitely. He later struck a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid jail time and was reinstated to fight.
“We’ve made it clear to Jon that this new opportunity to compete in UFC is a privilege and not a right, and that there are significant expectations we have regarding his conduct moving forward,” said now-former UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
White has expressed exasperation at Jones’ most recent legal troubles, but told Combate he hasn’t recently spoken to the 32-year-old champion.