UFC 232: A Week of Embarrassment
When the UFC get it right, it truly is the greatest show on planet earth. But the last week or so has been more like the greatest farce on earth.
To do right by Jon Jones, the UFC has done wrong to practically everyone else. To almost universal criticism, the UFC decided to move UFC 232 to a different venue, a different state on 6 days notice.
For every attempt to explain, to justify left more questions which needed answering. The UFC, Jones & USADA have all lost some or all of their credibility.
Now more than ever, Jones for those who can see past the PR machine and use some semblance of common sense, has a reputation that will be almost certainly never be able to recover from.
Everything he has done prior or what he will do in the future will be looked at with suspicion. Jones might plead that he’s a clean fighter, the evidence will say different.
The events of this week shouldn’t really come as a surprise, it’s almost “just part of the story” as the UFC would say.
We saw earlier in 2018, Conor McGregor attack a bus that was full of his fellow fighters, and yet he received no punishment whatsoever from the UFC. More disgusting scenes followed the McGregor Khabib Nurmagomedov fight at UFC 229, yet neither McGregor or Khabib received any punishment directly from the UFC.
Different rules apply to different fighters, the bigger the draw the more leniency you seem to earn. We have seen others fired from the UFC for life for far less and the likes of famed cutman Jacob Duran let go just for having an opinion.
The whole past week including the final press conference has been embarrassing for the sport. Rules made up as you go along, and confusion and inconsistency rules the day.
When is a positive drug test a positive drug test, what’s acceptable to one state, one commission, isn’t acceptable to another, unified rules unified hypocrisy more like.
If there is doubt, and Nevada obviously had doubt, then surely Jones shouldn’t be allowed to fight anywhere. I don’t care what he brings to the table, Jones has a history of failed drug tests, why should he get a free pass this time. A hearing is the very least that should have happened, the benefit of the doubt has to be earned.
A sport that is so simplistic, so pure is often ruined by everything else around it. A sport needs credibility, many will think the UFC lost much of theirs in 2018.
Alexander Gustafsson has a chance to inflict his own poetic, yet brutal justice in California on Saturday night. But sadly the right man doesn’t always win, and despite what I think or hope, that will be the case at UFC 232.