Jon Jones has been stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely following his arrest in New Mexico on a hit-and-run that police say left a pregnant woman with a broken arm.
The UFC announced the penalties Tuesday night for violations of its athlete code of conduct policy.
Jones was scheduled to face No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in Las Vegas on May 23. Instead, No. 3 contender Daniel Cormier will face Johnson for the title.
Earlier Tuesday in Albuquerque, Jones made his first court appearance.
The 27-year-old fighter appeared with his lawyer and left without speaking to reporters. He’s facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injuries.
Jones was released Monday on a $2,500 bond.
A judge did not impose travel restrictions on Jones.
According to police, witnesses said that Jones ran from a crash Sunday that hospitalized the pregnant woman but quickly came back to grab “a large handful of cash” from the car. Authorities say the accident occurred in southeastern Albuquerque when the driver of a rented SUV ran a red light.
Officers found a pipe with marijuana in the SUV as well as MMA and rental car documents in Jones’ name, according to the police report.
Widely considered the world’s best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist, Jones (21-1) has endured legal problems and questionable behavior as champion.
Jones was arrested in 2012 after crashing his Bentley into a telephone pole in Binghamton, New York. He had his driver’s license suspended after being charged with DWI, but did no jail time.
Last August, Jones and Cormier were involved in a brawl in the lobby of the MGM Grand casino while appearing at a promotional event. Jones was fined $50,000 and ordered to do community service by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
In early December, Jones tested positive for metabolites of cocaine while training. Jones was allowed to compete because the test was conducted out of competition, and he beat Cormier at UFC 182.
When the failed drug test became public, Jones publicly apologized for a “mistake,” but spent just one day in a drug rehabilitation center before checking himself out.
Jones has defended his belt eight times since becoming the youngest champion in UFC history in March 2011.
Jones is a native of upstate New York, but lives in New Mexico and works under prominent local trainer Greg Jackson. Jones has two brothers who play in the NFL.
Albuquerque is a hub for MMA fighters who train at Jackson’s gym and use the city’s high altitude to prepare for bouts.