UFC's Jones faces battery charge after incident

UFC champion Jon Jones is facing a battery charge stemming from an alleged April incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Jones, who holds the UFC light heavyweight title, is accused of slapping a cocktail waitress at a strip club, pulling her down to his lap and kissing her neck, according to a report Sunday from KRQE television in Albuquerque.

The woman told Albuquerque police that Jones put her in a chokehold and picked her up off the ground, per the news station. When she asked Jones to stop, she said Jones continued touching her until he decided to leave.

The charge was listed in court records as a petty misdemeanor, but a conviction can still carry jail time.

Jones spokesperson James Hallinan told KRQE that Jones was unaware of the charge until his team was contacted by KRQE. Per online court records, a letter sent to Jones by Albuquerque police was returned in June. A bench warrant was issued for Jones on June 12 when he failed to show up for a bond arraignment. Jones paid a $300 cash bond Sunday. His next court date is not yet scheduled.

"Today, the media told Mr. Jones about a false accusation launched against him and that paperwork had been sent to an incorrect address," Hallinan said in a statement to KRQE. "However, after receiving the documents from the press, Mr. Jones immediately went to pay the small fee, and he, and multiple witnesses, stand ready to factually refute the malicious lies being told about him to the public."

Jones, an Albuquerque resident, tweeted about the situation Monday morning, writing he is "definitely not in any trouble."

"Don't be so quick to believe everything you read on the Internet," Jones wrote.

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Jones, 32, has been in legal trouble before. He pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run in 2015 and received probation and community service. In 2016, Jones violated his probation for alleged drag racing. The New York native's probation was up in March 2017. In 2012, Jones pleaded guilty to a DWI charge.

On top of the time he missed dealing with those situations, Jones has missed Octagon time due to two failed drug tests administered by UFC anti-doping partner USADA over the past three years. Most recently, Jones was suspended 15 months for a positive drug test for a steroid metabolite in July 2017.

Jones (25-1, 1 NC) is coming off a successful title defense against Thiago Santos earlier this month at UFC 239 in Las Vegas. Jones has never really been beaten in MMA, with his only loss coming in 2009 by disqualification for illegal elbows. He is regarded as perhaps the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighter of all time.

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