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EA Sports UFC on mobile updated to remove promotion of embattled Jon Jones

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

EA Sports UFC launched on Android and iOS last month. At the time, it heavily featured Jon Jones, one of the world's top mixed martial artists and the then-champion of the UFC's light heavyweight division. But developer EA Canada updated both versions yesterday to remove the promotion of Jones — although he is still a playable fighter in the game — presumably as a result of his arrest in late April in conjunction with his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident.

Jones, 27, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injuries, which is a felony. Early on the morning of April 26, Jones allegedly ran a red light in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and struck a car driven by a pregnant woman. The woman, Vanessa Sonnenberg, suffered a broken arm in the crash, and Jones allegedly fled the scene on foot. Following Jones' arrest and subsequent release on bail, UFC president Dana White announced April 28 that the organization had stripped Jones of his light heavyweight title and suspended him indefinitely.

"A lot of people know, Jon's had a lot of chances," White said April 29 on ESPN's SportsNation. "This one was his last chance. He's got to handle his business outside of the Octagon and then we'll see where he goes from there." That same day, Reebok announced it had terminated its sponsorship contract with Jones.

Jones — who still appears on the cover of EA Sports UFC's console versions — adorned the start screen and app icon for the game on Android and iOS, and was mentioned in the game's store listings as well. (Check out the archived EA Sports UFC pages on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.) Jones is still featured in one of the iOS screenshots and two of the Android screenshots that appear on the respective store pages.

EA Sports UFC - Jon Jones removed from app icon 720

Yesterday's update, which brought the Android and iOS releases to version 1.1.7, removed Jones from the app icon and start screen; in addition, he is no longer mentioned in the store listings. The patch notes didn't reference those changes at all, only saying, "We've made some improvements outside of the Octagon to get you into the game faster and keep you playing like a champion." But we've included the before-and-after Android app icons above (original with Jones on the left, new one on the right) so you can see for yourself.

Jones remains playable as an unlockable fighter in the free-to-play EA Sports UFC on mobile. Players can purchase an in-game currency, gold, and spend it to unlock Jones. However, he is tied for first place on the list of priciest fighters in the game at 3,500 gold, which would cost about $35 to buy.

EA Sports did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding this story. For continuing coverage of Jones' felony hit-and-run charge, follow the StoryStream at MMA Fighting.