clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jon Jones fined $50,000, given 40 hours community service for UFC 178 media day brawl

New, comments

Daniel Cormier was given a $9,000 fine and will have to do 20 hours of community service.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and undefeated contender Daniel Cormier were fined 10-percent of their upcoming fight purses as a result of the brawl that took place between the two rivals at an August 4, 2014 press event to promote UFC 178. Representatives of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) unanimously approved the punishment at a Tuesday commission meeting in Las Vegas.

Jones will be required to pay the commission $50,000 for his actions, while Cormier's penalty will be $9,000. In addition to the fine, Jones will be required to complete 40 hours of community service in Las Vegas, while Cormier will be required to complete 20 hours of community service in his hometown of San Jose, Calif.

The two fighters came to blows during a staredown photo opportunity in the lobby of the MGM Grand Garden Hotel and Casino in early August. Video of the brawl quickly went viral.

Both men appeared before the commission on Tuesday to apologize for their actions and remarks made in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Jones admitted to all allegations and requested leniency as a first-time offender, while Cormier stated that he acted largely in self-defense, only physically responding after Jones' aggressively placed his forehead on Cormier's own.

Commission representatives dismissed Cormier's claim that his subsequent push to Jones' throat was made purely self-defense, however they did unanimously find Jones to be more culpable in the brawl as the aggressor, thus leading to Jones' harsher punishment.

"I do believe that there is a disparity in culpability in this particular circumstance," said NAC Commissioner Pat Lundvall. "It feels different from Mr. Cormier's perspective. And I acknowledge the argument that his council made in that regard. I don't think that he is at the same level as Mr. Jones, but I don't think that he is completely without fault."

When asked of any ramifications from the brawl he has already experienced, Jones stated that he lost his blue-chip Nike sponsorship shortly after the incident, along with an opportunity to receive an additional "six-figure" endorsement from an unnamed company.

Jones suggested that he had no pre-existing plans to engage in acts of aggression with Cormier during the staredown, and pledged that such an exchange would "never happen again."

"I've never had my throat grabbed like that," Jones said.

"I made us all look bad, and as a champion, it was a terrible thing. It was a very heated moment. I've never done anything to disgrace the sport. I've never swore on an interview in my seven-year career. I make a very conscious effort to be a great example and a role model. And so moments like this are embarrassing. It's embarrassing for me and I realize it's going to come with consequences, and as a man, I sit here to accept them."

Cormier's testimony largely came and went without incident, with the exception of a prior remark brought forth by Nevada Attorney General Christopher Eccles in which Cormier stated on UFC Tonight that the brawl was "good for his paycheck." Cormier acknowledged that he said that remark, explaining that he meant that he and Jones would "probably get more money if we sold more pay-per-views."

"There has to be some kind of activity to deter this activity," said Eccles. "If it's just good for the paycheck, then it could happen again. And we obviously don't want this to happen again. It's bad for everybody involved."

Jones and Cormier are slated to fight on January 3, 2015 in the main event of UFC 182, which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Afterward, Jones took to Twitter to respond to his punishment: