After digesting what feels like a lifetime’s worth of promotional material, fight fans across the globe are finally rubbing their hands together in anticipation of perhaps the most insane fight card MMA has ever seen. We always knew UFC 200 was going to be a huge event but Dana White and the UFC’s primary matchmakers, Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, have put together a fight card that promises to excite from the very beginning.
The paragraph above is something I wrote yesterday before the iron fist of USADA (United States Anti Doping Agency) came crashing down on Jon Jones’ tiny, stupid head. With the anticipation and naivety of a small child I spent the day tapping away at my keyboard, writing about the impending second fight between Jones and the current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. I fell asleep a happy man with the intention of uploading the article this morning. Then, lo and behold, I wake up to the news that Jones has been pulled from the card due to an alleged anti-doping violation. *repeatedly bangs head*
The injustice I felt at essentially wasting a day burnt up inside of me to the point where I very nearly considered not writing anything at all about this glorious week of fights. Everything else felt frivolous if these two bitter enemies weren’t going to cap it all off by going toe-to-toe inside the octagon. I, like fight fans around the world, had eagerly lapped up hours of promotional content in the lead up to the event and for what? For Jon Jones, perhaps the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, to piss it all up the wall – that’s what.
I felt exhausted and betrayed so turned to Twitter for some light relief and more news on the story as it was breaking. It was at this point, after throwing my self-righteous (and well-deserved in my opinion) tantrum, that I turned my thoughts to Jones’ opponent, Daniel Cormier.
Daniel Cormier is the nicest man in the whole wide world. There I said it. He’s the sort of man who finds out his wife is having an affair but doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t want to upset her. He never steps out of line, always plays by the book and I bet his neighbours love him. However, despite all of this, when put on a stage next to Jones – the man who has literally fucked up more times than anyone else in the sport – he will be booed like a pantomime villain.
On top of that, and on a much more serious note, it’s now looking like he’ll lose millions of dollars because Jones either doesn’t check what’s in his supplements, or because he’s knowingly consumed something more sinister. The trickle-down effect of this means that because of Jones’ incompetence, not only will Cormier and his family go without the payday they deserve, but so will all of his coaches.
It’s unclear what Jones’ punishment will be for this slip up, but as Dana White acknowledged in the emergency press conference called last night, USADA may very well slap him with a two year ban. If that’s the case, I for one can’t see Jones sticking around. But if he does (and it’s a big ‘but’) it’s unlikely the UFC will continue to keep giving ‘second’ chances.
The new main event will be a three round bout between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt – a fight that is happening for literally no reason whatsoever. The rest of the UFC 200 card is obviously still insanely good, but it doesn’t really make up for the fact that Jon Jones has managed to prevent this rematch from happening…again.