UFC 232: Why The Fans are the True Losers
By: Stephanie Teasley
UFC 232 is the last one in 2018, was originally slated to be in Las Vegas with Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson as the main event. Fans were pumped to see this rematch. Their 2013 fight together was considered one of greatest light heavyweight fight of all time, although many fans and experts thought that Gustafsson had won (Jones took home the belt in a controversial unanimous decision.) A rematch was slated for the two fighters, but Gustafsson pulled out because of an injury and Jones...well, he started to show the world who he really is.
First Jones was involved in a hit-and-run, involving a pregnant woman, causing the UFC to strip him of his belt and title and suspend him indefinitely. He eventually got reinstated and went on to fight and win again over Ovince Saint Preux in unanimous decision. Jones and heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, were scheduled for a rematch in the summer of 2016, but Jones was removed from the bout three days before the fight due to illegal steroid use. The UFC stripped him of his interim title, making Jones the first fighter to be stripped twice, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for a year. After that was up, he faced off again with Daniel Cormier again, winning the light heavyweight title after knocking Cormier out in UFC 214. That was in July.
One month later, in August, Jones was tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid, and Dana White, once again, stripped Jones of his title, giving it to Daniel Cormier.
That’s three separate occasions that Jones has had his title taken from him, with two of the reasons being for illegal drugs in his system. Anyone else should have been done, but in October 2018, the UFC announced that Jones would be facing off with Gustafsson in UFC 23w in Las Vegas, alongside Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, a megafight to end the year.
Then last week, it was announced due that UFC 232 would be moved from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California, on a week’s notice, because of another failed drug test on Jones’ part.
Depending on who’s talking, some (Dana White) say that Jones didn’t do anything wrong, this was a very miniscule amount, and he tested positive for it back in August and September (which makes it worse!) Others are just enraged that not only has Jones been given more chances than he should have, but because of him, many people are out of money because of cancellation fees of flights and hotels. Not everyone can afford that and it has turned many people against the UFC.
Many fans and fighters are also disgusted with Jones and how the UFC is handling this. MMA is about fighting through skill and technique and Jones, once called the greatest of all time, keeps showing the world he’s not fighting clean. It’s insulting and disrespectful to those who fans and fighters. People are out money and rightfully upset and have valid complaints; Dana White and the UFC are being dismissive and flippant. It’s so bad that even Lance Armstrong called out Jones and the UFC.
Then there’s Jones. Considering all that has happened due to his own irresponsible actions, you’d think that he would stay humble (ha!) and maybe, possibly, do some type of self-reflection and realize how incredibly lucky he is to still be fighting in the UFC. But this is Jon Jones.
Most likely because he has Dana White and the UFC in his corner, Jones behavior at the Thursday night press conference just shows that he hasn’t and never will take this seriously. Izabelle Kostic, a reporter for a Swedish MMA website, asked Jones perfectly sensible, if not expected, question of why, are they here, for a third time, talking about Jones and his substance problems. It was a question that should have been asked but Jones threw a tantrum over it.
First of all, Kostic was only one of two reporters who even dared to ask that question. Second, it’s a new conference and reporters are going to ask questions, even if they are uncomfortable, because this news has been dominating MMA websites for the past week. Third, Jones telling Kostic that she’s doing “bad journalism” and to sit down (which Kostic replied “I am sitting down”) was fabulous display of Jones’ true nature, especially when he asked the crowd to “boo her” in attempts to humiliate a journalist who just wants to know why Jones is repeatedly given multiple chances compared to other fighters. Kostic did ask Dana White the same question but he demurred and told her to ask Jeff Novitzky. No one wanted to answer why Frank Mir got a two-year suspension but not Jones. No one answered her questions and Jones continued to berate her. Jones keeps showing the world who he really is and many UFC fans decided to believe him.
There was a huge backlash following his press conference an online mini stands Express even more dismay over Jones’ treatment of Kostic. Kostic thanked her supporters in a video:
One thing for sure, Gustafsson and Kostic seemed to have gained an influx of fans that the UFC has lost.