Will he return or have we seen the last of Jon Jones inside the Octagon?
That seems to be the $1 million question. Though in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that important, as "Bones" has bigger issues at hand after running into serious legal issues once again.
Following his alleged hit-and-run accident last month in Albuquerque, N.M., Jones was stripped of his belt and suspended indefinitely from competing for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). It was something that had to be done, according to company president Dana White, who stated that Jones had used up his last chance.
See his previous two freebies here and here.
During a recent appearance on "The Jim Rome Show" (via MMA Fighting), White stated that whether or not "Bones" ever returns to the cage is contingent on several factors, chief among them being if the former 205-pound champion can avoid jail time after his latest transgression.
Something one legal expert says Jones may not be able to bypass.
"We had gotten to the point where, you know, it was like if he had one more incident. And the level of the last incident obviously made it that much easier. Obviously, he's been stripped of the title, he's not fighting anymore, and he's got these legal issues he's got to deal with. Once he gets through those, he's either going to end up with a felony or jail time, or a felony and jail time. So I don't know how this thing is going to play out. We'll see how it goes. Like I said, he's got these legal issues and he's got a civil suit against him. He's got a civil suit against him and all this other stuff. (We'll) see how he gets through this and then find out where his head is. How does he handle himself through this situation and after it? I mean, I gotta see from him that he's doing the right thing."
Should Jones keep his freedom and decide to return to the sport he dominated since 2009, he will find himself as the challenger for the first time in a long time, as White revealed that "Bones" would get an instant shot to reclaim what he never lost inside the cage.
"He comes right back and he fights for the title. He hasn't had the time that Anderson Silva's had, but he is the most dominant champion. If you look at the Murderer's Row of the 205-pound division that he went through, and he just went through it like a hot knife through butter, I mean, he's the man. So whenever he gets his stuff together, he'd come right back and fight for the title."
As it stands, Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier are set to compete for Jones' vacant Light Heavyweight title this weekend (May 23, 2015) in the main event of UFC 187 (details), which goes down inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Whether or not either of those two gentleman are the title holder if and when Jones finally returns, obviously, remains to bee seen. As for "Bones," right now he's simply working on bettering himself and looking ahead to the tough legal battles that await.
One thing is certain, neither "DC" nor "Rumble" are going to beg the former champion to return.