The mixed martial arts (MMA) world was rocked when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), after crashing his $190,000 Bentley into a utility pole on Sat., May 19, 2012.
Many fans and pundits alike have weighed in on the matter, including "Bones'" boss, UFC President Dana White, who assured fans that Jones' fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Sept. 1, 2012, will still take place as originally scheduled.
One person who no one expected to come out in support of Jones is his former training partner and current rival, Rashad Evans, who Jones decisively defeated when the two squared off at UFC 145 in Atlanta, Ga., on April 21, 2012.
However, that's just what Evans did when he was asked about Jones' mishap during a segment on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight." It wasn't a massive endorsement, but "Suga's" statement was gracious enough that it might just surprise you.
Check out what Evans had to say, as well as the details of Jones' plea agreement, after the jump:
"Honestly, it's hard to really say if it surprised me. I just hate to see that happen to him, or to anybody, for that matter. Some people really could have got hurt. Thankfully, nobody did get hurt. Hopefully, he learned his lesson from it, and he can continue to move on and be a great champion."
The verbage from Evans has certainly softened since the pre-fight press tour leading up to the fight at UFC 145. It was a sign of maturity on Evans' part, showing restraint when he absolutely could have kicked a man when he was down.
In addition to Evans' reaction, "UFC Tonight" also released more information on how Jones' arraignment hearing went, and what the next steps will be, in regard to the punishment the champion will have to pay:
"What's next for Jon is he has to stay out of trouble, between now and June 19th. He also has to take an alcohol evaluation between now and June 19th. On June 19th, he is due to appear back in Binghamton City court. That is when he will receive his plea bargain. Now, his plea bargain is essentially this: He must stay out of trouble for a year. He must undergo these sort of alcohol sensitivity classes, to understand what could happen to a victim if they do drive while impaired. He must also pay any damages that his accident caused. On top of that, he must also put something in his car called an 'ignition interlock device,' which essentially means that between now and the next year, any time he drives his car, he will have to take a breathalyzer test to make sure he is not driving while impaired. He has also had his license suspended indefinitely. If he does agree to all this, and everything's good between now and June 19th, he will not face any further charges. He won't go to jail, he just has to pay a very small fine, a maximum of $1,500."
For now, it looks like "Bones" will just have to play nice, keep his head down and he should end up in the clear, when it's all said and done.
Maybe even a reconciliation with Evans looms on the horizon.
Be sure to check out the latest on the Jones DWI arrest, including the details from his arraignment hearing earlier today (May 29, 2012), right here.