Jon Jones Arrest Leads to Fighters Defending UFC Champ

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: Mixed martial artist Jon Jones takes questions during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino to address being pulled from his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 200 against Daniel Cormier due to a potential violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy on July 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

As revealed earlier this week, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been arrested for DWI and firearms offences. Jones has since been released from custody but will have to reappear in court on April 8th. In light of this news, many professional fighters have been heavily critical of Jones. In fact, Jones’ former teammate Diego Sanchez launched an explicit attack on him over twitter, whilst middleweight champion Israel Adesanya expressed his disbelief with a meme on Instagram.

Despite this, many of Jones’ UFC colleagues have sprung to his defence. After bodycam footage showed an emotional Jones reveal that he suffers from anxiety, many have come to the conclusion that Jones is not in control of his own actions and needs serious help and support. Here are the latest reactions from fighters on the Jones arrest.

Pros Defend Jon Jones

Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko backed Jones, saying he will return to the octagon stronger. Shevchenko referenced her own personal experiences with Jones, describing him as a “kind and noble man”.

Francis Ngannou

Fearsome heavyweight Francis Ngannou has previously expressed his interest in welcoming Jones into the heavyweight division. Ngannou made clear that he was not defending Jones’ actions, but did have a message of support for his fellow fighter.

Jared Gordon

Jared Gordon’s inspirational story of battling addiction has been well documented. As a self-described recovery and addiction advocate, Gordon’s unique understanding of Jones’ potential situation makes his viewpoint an important one to acknowledge. Gordon made clear that Jones needs help for what he believes to be a chemical dependency.

Jacare Souza

In his reaction to the arrest of Jon Jones, middleweight standout Jacare Souza called for people to show empathy towards Jones at this time. Souza highlighted the fact that only Jones truly knows what he is suffering with, and that the Alberqurque man is “paying the price” for his mistakes.

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