In May, Jones was involved in a drunk driving accident when he wrecked his Bentley into a utility pole. He later plead guilty to the DWI and accepted responsibility, but for many fans, the vocal Christian and all-around 'good guy,' lost stock in their eyes.
In September more controversy followed "Bones" as he was set to headline UFC 151 against Dan Henderson during Labor Day weekend. However, Henderson withdrew from the fight a week out, and Jones was offered a replacement fight with middleweight fighter Chael Sonnen. Despite the perceived ease in which Jones would dispatch Sonnen, Jones declined. The refusal ultimately lead to the first canceled card in the company's entire history, and led to a press release in which UFC President Dana White called Jones, and his trainer Greg Jackson, "sport killers."
Despite the hardships of 2012, Jones still managed two quality championship title defenses, defeating Rashad Evans at UFC 145 in April, and Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 in September, respectively.
On Friday, I had a chance to catch up with Jones at the 2012 World Mixed Martial Arts Awards in Las Vegas and get his thoughts on this chaotic year. The 25-year-old was on hand to receive his second consecutive "Fighter of the Year" award, which is voted on by fans across the world. Jones was candid, receptive and in rare form as he discussed one of the benchmark years in his still-blossoming career, and the turmoil that inspired change.
(This interview was shot by National Mixed Martial Arts Examiner, Ryan McKinnell, for MMA Weekly.com)