As soon as I heard “Jon Jones will face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200” my head nearly exploded.
I’m not going to debate Jon ‘Bones’ Jones’ talent, nor the fact that Jones-Cormier is a fight I would be willing to watch. My problem is how quickly ‘we’ (the UFC) are all willing to forgive Jones’ faults and hand him his throne back on a silver platter. When I heard about the UFC 200 plans, I couldn’t help think of Apu’s reaction on The Simpsons:
I’ll say outright that I will not be passing judgment on Jonny’s actions, I wasn’t there and I don’t care about his drug use. My first problem essentially boils down to:
1. Jones screwed up and doesn’t deserve to be treated as if nothing happened.
I’m not willing to pretend Jon Jones is some sort of amazing person; not that I think he believes that either. I think he realizes what he has done and regrets it, besides the obvious contradictions that come from his apparent Christianity, it is the UFC that I have the problem with.
If it were up to me (one day), Jones would come back further down the ladder. I don’t care about his record; you get out of control with your actions like he did and the answer is not to send him right back into the octagon for a title shot pretending like nothing happened. In a perfect world I think after OSP, a re-match with Gustafsson is in order with the winner fighting Cormier.
What About the Money?
I’m sure that’s your first question. Of course Jones-Cormier makes sense from a business standpoint, I won’t debate this for obvious reasons. However, Dana White made it very clear during the International Fight Week press conference that denying Conor McGregor the fight vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 200 was the “right thing to do”, and rewarding a guy who did what Bones did Which brings me to my second issue:
2. The UFC clearly wants to use the Conor McGregor situation to set an example.
If you ask me, the right thing to do is let the man who has set money-making records for you take the time he feels is necessary to prepare for the biggest fight your company has to offer, at the biggest event of the year. Considering he is willing to do the bigger press conference, in New York. Read Conor’s full diatribe here.
Considering Nate Diaz said (at the IFW press conference also) he is simply going to go on vacation if he can’t fight McGregor, it makes it painfully more obvious what the motives here are.
If Conor McGregor is allowed to fight after skipping a press conference, there will be a collection of fighters’ ears perking up saying “…wait a minute, we can get away with this?” and that is exactly what UFC brass doesn’t want to happen.
A figurative mutiny would happen, I believe, potentially changing the way fighter-promotion contracts work. Imagine a world where the likes of McGregor, Jones or Mighty Mouse don’t have to do the same song and dance for every event; frankly I would support that.
It’s a ‘wait and see’ situation right now, but if I have to make a prediction I would say that the Notorious One ends up getting his way. However, if the UFC/White are going to use the stance of “doing the right thing” I am forced to ask…What were you thinking?!