It's not necessarily the fighter who has the highlight-reel knockout power or the mind-blowing submissions who is always most in demand by a fight promoter.

Rather, it's someone who has that unique ability which transcends skill in the cage and who's able to sell both tickets and pay-per-views who promoters drool over most.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had long ago developed into a dominant fighter, but only recently had he taken that next step and become a massive box-office star.

That's why his arrest early Saturday in Binghamton, N.Y., on a charge of driving under the influence has to be so troubling to the UFC brass.

Binghamton, N.Y., Police Sgt. Chris Lason told Yahoo! Sports that Jones was arrested at 5:02 a.m. Saturday. Jones, 24, ran his 2012 Bentley Continental GT into a telephone pole at the intersection of Helen St. and Grand Blvd. Jones was charged with DUI, paid an appearance bond and was released to family, Lason said. There is no report of whether Jones, who lives in Ithaca, N.Y., was injured.

[Fan's take: How will Jon Jones' DUI affect the public's view of him?]

The UFC is in dire need of new stars and Jones has given every indication he's ready to ascend to the top in that realm. Though UFC officials do not release pay-per-view figures, media estimates were that Jones' last bout, at UFC 145 in Atlanta on April 21, sold in excess of 700,000 units. The event attracted a crowd of 15,545, which paid a live gate of $2.3 million.

Those are the kind of numbers which stamp a fighter as a legitimate box-office star.

Jones' ascension was the best news possible for UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and president Dana White, as the promotion has been dealing with a dearth of stars in recent months. Welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre has been sidelined for more than a year with a knee injury and isn't expected back until November at the earliest. Former light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz is expected to retire. Middleweight champ Anderson Silva is 37 and talking of retirement. Also, in the last 18 months, big draws such as Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture have called it quits, considerably thinning the ranks of the hot-ticket UFC stars.

Jones seemed poised to reverse that trend, and he still might. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was involved in an accident in Southern California in 2008 and was charged with hit-and-run driving, felony evading and reckless driving.

It had little impact upon Jackson's career and five months later he knocked out Wanderlei Silva in a memorable slugfest at UFC 92.

Jones has had a squeaky clean image to this point, and that has made him attractive to potential sponsors. He's already appeared in a Bud Lite commercial with White and has made no secret of his desire for an endorsement deal with Nike.

Jones' agent, Malki Kawa, said prior to UFC 145 that he's talked with several blue-chip sponsors about Jones. It's likely those talks will go on hold for a while as the sponsors wait to see what the fallout from the accident might be.

Jones is scheduled to fight Dan Henderson at UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas and there is no reason to believe he won't be able to fulfill that date barring any serious injuries sustained in the crash.

[Also: Junior dos Santos chats with Y! Sports before his heavyweight title fight]

What won't be known is how the public will react to Jones after the arrest. Jones has tried hard to portray a positive image thus far in his career, once going so far as to tell a group of reporters that if they cast him in a good light, they'd never have trouble with him.

The public, however, has still been skeptical of Jones' sincerity up to this point. He was booed at his last few fights, but seemed to have won over the crowd at UFC 145 with his performance in a win over Rashad Evans.

White did not return a telephone call seeking comment on Jones, though he said via text message that he had yet to speak with the champion.

White is usually lenient with his fighters and gives them wide latitude when they make mistakes. He'll undoubtedly do the same with Jones and will assuredly welcome him back into the fold with little to no criticism.

The UFC, though, needs the public to do the same. If it overlooks the mistake of the misguided 24-year-old, Jones still can become the ticket-selling superstar that the Fertittas, White and many in the media have envisioned.

The UFC will survive, and thrive, with or without Jon Jones. White and the Fertittas have built the brand name so that it is bigger than any individual fighter. It's the brand which carries them through the tough times.

Surviving, and thriving, though, will be a whole lot easier with Jon Jones winning title fights, selling out arenas and setting pay-per-view records.

The UFC will quickly work on damage control, but the ultimate answer is out of its hands.

This time, it's going to be the public who decides.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Celtics collapse in Game 4 after succumbing to Sixers' 'trick'
Miami Marlins soar in latest MLB power rankings
Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III reveals his romantic side
Y! Real Estate: Formula One heiresses spend $155M on high-profile properties

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Chael Sonnen Hit Hard by Joe Silva’s Retirement

  • 25 days ago
  • 228 views

Longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, 20-plus years into his career, is calling it quits. Listen to Chael Sonnen's take on the gold standard for MMA matchmakers. read news >>

Miocic vs. Overeem: Career Stats, Highlights for Both Before UFC 203

  • 21 days ago
  • 11 views

Capturing the UFC Heavyweight Championship is one thing; defending it is a different matter altogether. That's the challenge Stipe Miocic faces when he welcomes Alistair Overeem to Cleveland in the m read news >>

Gall excited for 'best 15 minutes of career' vs Punk

  • 21 days ago
  • 3 views

Mickey Gall doesn’t plan on just beating CM Punk at UFC 203 – he plans on destroying the former WWE megastar in his UFC debut. read news >>

CM Punk Comments on MMA Career, Life After WWE and More

  • 19 days ago
  • 4 views

Ahead of his highly anticipated MMA debut against Mickey Gall Saturday at UFC 203, CM Punk discussed his development as a fighter and his past as a WWE Superstar in The Players' Tribune. Punk said th read news >>

UFC's CM Punk Experiment Gets off to a Painful Start

  • 18 days ago
  • 12 views

CM Punk’s new career as an MMA fighter got off to a painful start on Saturday. Punk proved no match for Mickey Gall at UFC 203, as Gall wasted little time taking the former WWE wrestler down and scor read news >>

Alistair Overeem Thought Stipe Miocic Tapped, Fighters React on Twitter | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 270 views

After Alistair Overeem said he thought Stipe Miocic tapped out, interviewer Joe Rogan called him on it. What did the Rheem's fellow fighters say? read news >>

CM Punk’s Drawing Power Might Not Be Enough | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 33 views

CM Punk’s UFC career may have been a one-and-done deal. The former WWE superstar made his professional fighting debut on Saturday at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio. read news >>

Tito Ortiz: Chael Sonnen Payback Would be a Great Way to End His Career | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 51 views

For Tito Ortiz, there is no better way to end his career than to exact payback upon Chael Sonnen. read news >>

Why Does BJ Penn Want to Return Now? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 10 days ago
  • 36 views

After seemingly ending his career, over the past two years, UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn has had time to reconsider. So, why come back now? read news >>

Would Luke Rockhold Pose Nude for His Modeling Career? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 9 days ago
  • 36 views

Luke Rockhold has delved into modeling. Inside MMA talked to him about it, as well as his rematch with Jacare Souza and relationship with Demi Lovato. read news >>