It's been four months since Jon Jones was stripped of the light-heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely by the UFC following an alleged hit and run in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 'Bones' is reported to have skipped a red light and slammed his rental car into another vehicle carrying a pregnant woman. The former champ faces felony charges and it's expected that Jones will be absent from the MMA sphere for some time.
MMA livewire Chael Sonnen, however, believes the 28-year-old will be back in action 'a lot sooner than you think' and predicts Jones to recover the 205 lbs. title. Dana White confirmed that Jon Jones would be granted with an immediate title shot upon his return.
"I think Jon Jones is gonna be back a lot sooner than you think," Sonnen told News.com.au He's still got to get through a court date and anything could happen there — including jail time. If he gets jail time that just kicks the can down the road farther as far as his return. He'll definitely be back and he will be champion again."
No stranger to controversy himself, 'The American Gangster' pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2011 and was dismissed as a UFC on FOX analyst following a series of failed drug tests in the lead-up to his fight with Wanderlei Silva in 2014.
Sonnen thinks Jones' behaviour is typical of someone his age and claims that the former pound for pound #1 has always been a 'knucklehead', even before he found success as a champion in the UFC.
"He's a young guy that behaves as a young guy. Some people get success and they change, I don't know that he's changed. He was behaving like a knucklehead before he was champion and he behaves like a knucklehead now. He's a young guy and I think a little bit needs to be considered there."
Despite Jones' flaws, the self-proclaimed gangster from Oregon feels that bones is a 'very nice guy' when the cameras aren't rolling.
"He's a fist-fighter, he fights inside a steel cage I'm not totally sure all that's expected of him, and why? He's a very nice guy and that story never gets told, it seems like whenever he does something bad there's always a camera around him but when he does something nice it just goes unnoticed. I know him pretty well and he's a nice guy — he just behaves like a knucklehead and to me that sounds like a pretty regular person."
Since Jones' absence, Daniel Cormier seized the vacant light-heavyweight title when he submitted Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. 'DC' called his nemesis out in the post-fight interview and further antagonized the Greg Jackson student when he said that he 'hoped Jones was watching' when he took the belt.
Chael Sonnen is currently serving a two-year suspension from the NSAC and it's been teased at that the 38-year-old could be flirting with the idea of a third fight with Anderson Silva.