Jon Jones' manager says fighter's return to MMA not a certainty

Malki Kawa, longtime manager to former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, says he is unsure whether Jones will compete in mixed martial arts again.

Jones, 27, is facing a felony charge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident that involved personal injury on April 26.

A district attorney has been given until late June to determine whether to move the case forward. Jones is released on $2,500 bond and has not entered a plea.

The UFC stripped Jones (21-1) of the 205-pound title on April 28 after his first felony appearance in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

The promotion also placed him under indefinite suspension.

On Monday, Kawa made his first public comments regarding the matter during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

He told ESPN.com after the show that he is unsure whether Jones will fight again.

"I don't know that he is going to come back," Kawa said. "I think some of the things he went through as a champion are things that most champions go through, but I think it was magnified a little bit because he was the guy who was tagged as 'The One' -- the guy who was going to put the sport on his back and take it to the next level.

"I'm not trying to create a pity party or victimize him at all. I just think there are pressures that come with being a pro athlete, and I think all athletes feel it different.

"He's going to have to decide at some point if he wants to come back, and personally, I'm inclined to believe that it's not necessarily set in stone. That's my personal opinion."

Jones has been accused of fleeing the scene of a three-car accident, in which a 25-year-old pregnant woman suffered a broken arm. According to a police report, a pipe with marijuana in it was found in the rental car Jones was driving.

He was scheduled to defend his title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas.

UFC brass flew to Albuquerque on April 28 to speak with the fighter in person, at which point a decision was made to strip him of the title. Kawa declined to get into specifics regarding the meeting with the UFC.

"You can imagine, just like anybody who loses anything, how he felt," Kawa said. "As far as that's concerned, that's all I'm going to say."

Kawa said if Jones never returns to the Octagon, he should still be considered the greatest of all time. Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history when he won the title at age 23 in March 2011. He set the record for most consecutive 205-pound title defenses with eight. His one loss came via disqualification for illegal elbow strikes during a fight he was dominating.

"Greatest of all time," Kawa said. "I don't think anyone can take away any of his accomplishments. He's the greatest fighter this sport has ever seen. Until someone comes along and beats the quality of people he fought and does it for the length of time he did it, there is no argument in my opinion."