UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones fought against Thiago Santos on July 6 while a bench warrant was out in New Mexico for his arrest on a charge of battery. That’s according to court docs first uncovered by Albuquerque’s KRQE, which show that Jones was charged on April 19 and failed to appear in court on June 11.
KRQE says that the charge comes after a woman told police that Jones got violent with her at a gentlemen’s club in Albuquerque:
According to Albuquerque Police, a cocktail waitress called officers to her home and told them Jones slapped her inappropriately, and pulled her down to his lap and kissed her neck, while she was at work.
The waitress told police he also placed her in a chokehold and picked her up off the ground. When she told him to stop, Jones allegedly kept touching her until he decided to leave. He was then charged with battery.
Deadspin has filed a public records request for the police report, and we will update if and when we get it.
A spokesman for Jones denied the charge, calling it “malicious lies.” He said that the fighter was unaware of the warrant until KRQE brought it to his attention because the paperwork was sent to an incorrect address. That claim is backed up by the fact that court records show an instance of “Returned Mail” both before and after Jones failed to appear in court. Jones went to court on Sunday to pay the $300 bond.
This is far from the first time that Jones has been in trouble with the law, though since his comeback from a failed drug test following a win against Daniel Cormier in July 2017, he’s done his best to present himself as a changed man. The battery charge he’s facing is a petty misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $500 fine.