MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Jon Jones One Step Closer To Returning

Jon Jones SquatTuesday was headlined by yet another fighter appearing in court, although this hearing had a more favorable result for the party in question. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was given what amounted to little more than a light tap on the wrist for the accident he caused resulting in a pregnant woman breaking her arm. Jones was sentenced to up to 18 months of probation, and 72 community service appearances, along with being subject to random tests for alcohol and drugs. The light punishment should allow Jones to return to the cage sooner rather than later, and could possibly put him in line to face the winner of this weekend’s Daniel Cormier/Alexander Gustafsson pretend light heavyweight title fight. Of course, the natural reaction from various people and outlets was to compare Jones’ hearing with that of Nick Diaz, but the are several key differences. First, Jones was in an actual court, with an actual judge, facing actual charges. Diaz was in front of a state-run athletic commission with a track record of tomfoolery. Next, Jones at least feigned contrition for breaking the rules that he broke, whereas Diaz was uncooperative during his hearing and seemed to think he was going to implicate himself for some non-existent criminal trial had he said anything. Finally, Jon Jones is far more well-known, and that still goes a long way in these sorts of things. To be quite frank, I’m just glad Jones will be back in short order, because I’d rather see one of the greatest fighters in MMA history actually fight than be sidelined because he was drunk and/or high as a kite. Luckily, Jones got the same sort of treatment as most high-level professional athletes, which is far different than the treatment most MMA fighters would have gotten. In other news from the past 24 hours, Bellator added four bouts to the undercard of Bellator 144. The most notable bout is in the featherweight division, as Goiti Yamauchi will take on former King of Pancrase Isao Kobayashi. While Yamauchi has improved his striking over the past couple of years, he would be wisest to take this bout to the ground, where he holds a significant advantage over Kobayashi. In his two most recent outings, Kobayashi has picked up wins over Marlon Sandro and UFC veteran Will Chope. The other recognizable name on the prelims is Matt Bessette, who is best known for his win over Diego Nunes in a Bellator featherweight tournament. Those fighters join a card which is headlined by a pair of title fights — Marcos Galvao rematching Eduardo Dantas for the bantamweight strap, and Brandon Halsey attempting to regain his middleweight title against Rafael Carvalho — and also features Brennan Ward and Michael Page beating up cans.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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