Jon Jones, the former light heavyweight champion who was suspended for six months after a hit-and-run accident in New Mexico, has been officially reinstated by UFC.
Officials confirmed the news on Friday, but there is no word yet on a date for Jones’s first fight back in the Octagon.
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“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,” UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We’re happy to read and see reports that he has embraced the terms of his plea agreement and is using this experience to grow and develop as a person.”
Jones, 28, said: “I am thankful to be able to do what I love once again and I look forward to proving myself as a champion in and outside of the Octagon.”
Jones was suspended indefinitely in April after he was arrested in connection with the accident in Albuquerque, which left a pregnant woman injured with a fractured wrist. As part of the punishment handed down by UFC, he was then stripped of his light heavyweight title.
In a New Mexico court in late September, Jones pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, but avoided jail time after reaching a deal with prosecutors. He was granted a conditional release with up to 18 months of supervised probation.
“I want to apologize to Ms Sonnenberg’s team, all the officers who were involved that day, all the people who support me who I’ve embarrassed, my family, my supporters, mainly Vanessa Sonnenberg and her family for all the heartache I must have put them through,” Jones said outside court.
“I am here to accept full responsibility for what happened, for my actions, and I’m just really hoping you guys can give me the opportunity to redeem myself.”
The light heavyweight title was eventually put up for grabs in his absence, with Daniel Cormier defeating Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 to claim the vacant belt.