Depending on who you ask, Jon Jones has had a rough 2015. He started the year out as champion, but was then stripped of his title after a hit-and-run accident involving a pregnant woman and drugs in his car. The case moved its way through the court system and ended up working out pretty well for him — he received parole and community service and won’t have a felony on his record if he completes them both satisfactorily. The UFC lifted his suspension and he’s currently talking about an April return.
But first, he’s doing what many athletes do after going through a damaging PR incident: making the rounds with the press to talk about what happened. His first big media interview was with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, and the two spent an hour talking about the lead-up to the accident and then the accident himself. Here’s what Jon had to say about how it all went down:
I went to a party… lot of heavy drinking going on. I go to bed thinking obviously you don’t drink and drive. None of my friends are going to allow me to get another DWI. So, I go to bed and I wake up the next morning. Everybody is gone from the house party and my boy and his wife are there. And I’m thinking to myself, “This guy has a kid and a family, I should probably leave this party.” Well, it’s obviously not a party anymore.
So, I get in my car and was definitely still really tired. Get in my car and I remember being at a red light and I had my music going. Texting on my cellphone. And I see the light turn green, and I assumed it was my green light, but really, it was a green light for people that were going straight in traffic, and I was actually turning. So, I just stepped on the gas when I saw the green light and I found myself driving right into oncoming traffic.
I just felt to myself, man, I went out last night, I haven’t been home yet, I probably still smell like the night before. I need to get myself out of here. This is gonna be terrible, this is gonna be messy. I gotta go. I was afraid, man. I freaked out. I was afraid to talk to the police at the time. So, I just thought I had to get away from this.