The Ultimate Fighting Championship reinstated Jon Jones on Friday.
Jones, who popped positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition drug test late last year, fled from an accident in Albuquerque in April. The multi-car collision left a pregnant woman with a broken arm. The crash resulted in the UFC suspending Jones before a title defense against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson scheduled for the following month. Jones reached a plea agreement earlier this month that ordered him to perform community service and allowed him to avoid jail.
The UFC announced on Friday:
Following a review of the plea agreement reached by Jon Jones and officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the judge’s decision, UFC announced today the formal reinstatement of Jones to the UFC roster. Effective immediately, Jones is eligible to return to competition. As such, UFC expects Jones to meet all of the terms of his plea agreement, including mandatory community service, as a condition of his reinstatement.
UFC is currently discussing with Jones a potential date for his return to the Octagon.
The reinstatement sets up a likely rematch with Daniel Cormier, who won the belt the 21-1 Jones vacated in a fight with Johnson. Jones handed Cormier his first professional loss in January, capping off an unmatched run of eight light-heavyweight title defenses that included wins over Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and Rashad Evans. At 28, Jones resumes his career already in the argument for best mixed-martial artist in the short history of the sport.
Jones reacted to the news of his return with hope and humility.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to resume my career and I am excited to show how much I’ve grown as a person outside of the octagon,” Jones explained on Facebook. “It took me losing almost everything I had worked for to realize how much I had. I am blessed and humbled by the continued support of the MMA community and I can’t thank my fans enough for their unwavering support through my ups and downs. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and my career and let me assure you, the best is yet to come.”