Tagging @Celticy here because I definitely want his opinion, as well as other MMA fans who are more knowledgeable than I am (admittedly I just get my news from John Pollock and watch the big shows):
WTF is going on with UFC and USADA?! Has the entire industry that is UFC lost its damn mind? Moving an entire event to another state over a ruling that on the face makes ZERO sense whatsoever with a fighter who has been suspended not once, not twice, but three times!!! (albeit only 2 were actually performance enhancing results).
I’m calling bullshit on UFC for this one. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of tainted Jones urine samples. His urine may be more foul than Rockstar Spud when all is said and done.
What are the chances he is found innocent when Nevada finally makes a ruling (will they ever make a formal ruling on this now that the fight is moved)? And by that time, won’t the UFC have long deposited the money to their bank account…What a move to run an event with a fighter under question because they technically can do it…when its not the organization responsible if he turns up dirty, and its on Jones again. If Jones is found guilty of anything coming out of this I need the UFC to bear responsibility for allowing the fight and going out of their way to profit off a guy before he’s potentially banished forever.
I cannot believe the UFC is not taking more heat for this decision to profit off a guy in question with as checkered a past as Jon Jones has.
And this idea that samples can contain trace amounts of something is now opening a whole new can of worms, not the mention this double jeopardy bullshit that he can’t be guilty of the same substance from the last suspension. It’s embarrassing for UFC to still be in bed with this guy that we are even talking about this. And to think people call Boxing corrupt (sheesh!) As a casual fan who tunes in for big events - how am I suppose to believe in USADA or UFC as a clean organization. Honestly - I’m not sure I care, but I respect those who follow the sport as sport and would be annoyed by this.
You know what’s crazy is that the rest of the fighter’s at the event, had to change their schedule, their accommodations, and the rest of their family and friend’s accommodations. Add to the fact that Amanda Nunes made a comment that the fighters are going to have to pay a high tax percentage from their purse, since the event was moved to California.
You said it well, as did John both on his news update and Rewind-A-Raw/Smackdown. There are double standards at work here. You best believe that if, Carlos Condit for example, had test results that came back similar to that of Jones, he would be facing a suspension right now, and the UFC certinally wouldn’t be moving UFC 232 because of it. The fighters not receiving PPV points will be losing money with the move to California, and you can have an entire discussion just regarding the fans who bought tickets for the Vegas card.
In regards to the failed test, you’ll have to forgive me because I’m no scientist, but from what I understand, Jon Jones tested positive for the same substance he failed for after the DC fight last year. Turinabol supposedly has a 16 hour shelf life, but all of a sudden they are saying it can stay in your system for years. Now there is about as much of it in his system as there was for the last failed test, so you can decide for yourself if it makes any sense whatsoever for it to be from the same ingestion. Either way, if having this amount in your system was worth a (originally 4 year) suspension 18 months ago why is it not now?
This is a terrible look for everyone involved. The only way I think this story might get swept under the rug is if Gustafsson wins, which will naturally become the dominating headline coming out of the event. But yeah, fight quality aside, this has been a rough year for MMA, and I think this chapter of the Jon Jones saga is perhaps the lowest moment in modern UFC history.
Honestly, I know Boxing got a bad rap after decades of shady shit but UFC is probably just as, if not more shady an organization (a legitimate one at that). I’m very curious who defends UFC in 2019.
But here is a question I have: do you even care? As a viewer, tuning in to watch two guys try to concuss each other, do you care if they are on PEDs…gimme two great fighters putting it all on the line and I’m not sure I mind a little trace of whatever metabolite mysteriously got in their system. What kills it for me as a viewer is the double standard and joke that anyone is even trying to run a legitimate sport.
Haha as bad as the Conor/Khabib stuff was, I still have the never ending cycle (lol) of Jon Jones insanity in first place, and letting him fight immediately after a failed drug test is impacting stuff that actually happens inside the cage, so I think that takes the cake.
Boxing’s repuatation comes from decades of corruption as you mentioned, so I think if years such as 2018 continue to be a trend for the UFC, all of MMA will share the same stigma in time.
As far as the “So you care if they’re on PED’s question”, it’s a bit of a situational answer. In Pride, or RIZIN, the answer is a clear no. If they aren’t banned, then I’ve no issue. They aren’t cheating. It’s a bit more complicated in the UFC. Each man signs a contract agreeing to fight under a set of rules and conditions, and by taking banned substances, they’re cheating to gain an advantage, and that can result in a dramatically different fight playing out when the time comes.
Take into example, Vitor Belfort: in 2013, he looked like a Greek God, and knocked out Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson. By 2014 he looked like your kind-of inshape uncle, and lost 5 of his next 7 fights. We weren’t seeing a true representation of Vitor as a fighter in 2013, and after the testing was implemented we saw Rockhold and Bisping become champions, two men that TRT fueled Vitor steamrolled beforehand.
So I guess what I’m saying is that if the rules are in place, you have to punish those who break them for the integrity of the sport. I think it’s important for the UFC as the promotion synonymous with MMA to present as legitimate of a sport as possible, and that means we can’t let guys juice to the gills, to the extent that we see completely different fighters, as in the aforementioned example of Vitor Belfort. If Jon Jones is juicing, and Alexander Gustafsson is clean, then we aren’t going to see a true representation of the men’s abilities when the fight comes, thus the outrage.
At times I sort of miss the era where you knew everyone was probably on something, and didn’t have to worry about stuff like this Saturday, but at the same time, I realize that time has passed, and to say “let them juice” at this point would be such a bad look for MMA.
The UFC have just announced a new (4 year?) deal with USADA it seems, so with the reputation of both organizations at an all time low, it will be interesting to see if they can repair that trust, or perhaps this is all just a “story of the week”, and people will move onto some other crazy story by the new year.
You can’t turn back the clock and just play blissfully ignorant - I agree.
I suppose I was referencing enjoying that kind of ignorance more than this situation where the integrity of the fight is questionable, and the company is parading around this USADA deal and then doing things like flee Nevada to run a card that probably shouldn’t take place as initially booked.
I rather suspect the fighters be tainted than feel the company as a whole is definitely tainted. UFC has left the word of MMA sport and now serve as MMAE. Y’all know what the E stands for.
I didn’t watch the press conference today, but from John and Ariel Helwani’s Twitters, it sounds like a women asked about why Frank Mir was given 2 years for the same test results as Jones now, and she was bullied by Jones into silence whilst the crowd booed her. Insane.