In case you’ve been out of the MMA bubble for the last few days, in the lead up to UFC 232, Jon Jones was found to have had a drug-test abnormality which caused the Nevada Athletic Commission to refuse to sanction him. But instead of scrapping Jones’ light heavyweight title fight against Alexander Gustafsson and letting the Cris Cyborg-Amanda Nunes superfight headline the pay-per-view, the UFC decided to move the entire event to Los Angeles on just 6 days’ notice.
The move was a fairly massive one, not just geographically but financially, for both fighters and fans. Those fans who had planned their holiday travel around coming to the event in Las Vegas were now up a creek and the 26 fighters on the card now will be paying California’s state income tax - the highest in the country. That’s a pretty big hit to the paycheck considering Nevada doesn’t have any state income tax. But UFC President Dana White says it was the best option available.
“Listen, it’s not an easy decision to make,” White told reporters at the UFC 232 pre-fight press conference yesterday. “You’ve got to pull the trigger, you’ve got to make moves. You’re not gonna make everybody happy, not every fan, every fighter, but we gave the fans in Las Vegas the opportunity to get tickets first, and the tickets are cheaper. We had over 3,000 people buy tickets here that had tickets in Vegas. We did everything we could to make it better. We did what we could do.”
Be that as it may, some of the fighters on the card were unhappy essentially being told, just a week before their fight, that they would suddenly be taking a substantial pay cut, with good reason. The move to California will costs fighters somewhere between 9-13 percent of their purses, depending on their income bracket. But the man who pocketed over $300 million dollars from the sale of the UFC in 2016, did not have a lot of sympathy for his fighters.
“Who is going to pay my income tax in California?” White asked when questioned about the financial implications for the fighters. “It is what it is. It’s either that or not fight and nobody gets paid, nobody does anything. It is what it is. We had to move it. Listen, it’s costing everybody more money. It is what it is.”
Perhaps he was less sympathetic because the move is also costing the UFC a pretty penny. White revealed that the upfront cost of moving the event to The Forum in Los Angeles on less than a week’s notice was $6 million. White says he doesn’t even know if the PPV revenue from keeping Jones on the card will be worth the added expense the UFC incurred to keep this fight alive, but that at the end of the day this was the right decision for the fighters and the best possible solution.
“[The move cost us] about $6 million,” White said. “Yeah. We don’t know [if the pay-per-view revenue will make up for that]. Pay-per-view is always a crap shoot, you don’t know how that’s gonna go. Listen, this was the right thing to do. At the end of the day, USADA’s not gonna put their reputation and their business on the line for one fight or one guy. We would never put anything on the line for one fight or one guy. We could have canceled this fight, moved it to March until he had time to go through the Nevada State Athletic Commission stuff, and just did this in Vegas. This was the right thing to do. California was already intimately involved in his situation, they knew everything, it was easy to get done, and the venue was available, so we moved it. We’re here, this is how we work, this is what we do.”
UFC 232 takes place this Saturday, December 29 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
USADA. Jeff Novitzky reveals that USADA first found adverse findings in Jon Jones’ drug tests back in August.
Incorrect. Jon Jones: There is ‘no asterisk’ next to my accomplishments.
Impossible. Jon Jones: ‘Virtually impossible’ to prove innocence before UFC 232 fight.
Medicals. Cris Cyborg says having to do UFC 232 medicals during fight week is ‘ridiculous’.
UFC 232 Timeline.
UFC 232 fighters discussing the move to LA.
Tommy toe Hold double episode.
Daniel Cormier highlights.
Sage wants to get into acting.
Heavy Hands. Previewing the upcoming circus that is UFC 232.
Bushido Talk. Discussing the insanity surrounding UFC 232.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
DC on Jones.
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This guy Jon Jones is such a dirt bag cheater that even Lance Armstrong is weighing in lol. Lance is like where the fuck was Jeff when I was going through this shit lol. And boy how did Jones turn Jeff Novitzky into his old lady. This is the craziest shit I’ve ever seen. And now people sending me clips of this dude being arrogant at a press conference. That is one crazy negro! Jeff Novitsky-Jones lmao #usadafake #turinabol
@usantidoping found ostrine in my supplement. Usada tested new bottle of creatine I was taking and found it. In my arbitration hearing they told me the amount in my system didn’t benefit me athletically but was still a banned substance.— tim means (@MeansTim) December 27, 2018
They also told me I was responsible for what was in my system even though it wasn’t listed on the label. I Settled for six months since it took that long to finish investigation. $200k lost. Guess the rules have changed.— tim means (@MeansTim) December 27, 2018
Ok from last time cool But There still was a drug in his system. No matter the amount. Bottom line!— tim means (@MeansTim) December 27, 2018
Ross weighing in.
Gotta respect that Dustin knows he’s not next in line for Khabib.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) December 27, 2018
1 Corinthians 2:9
THIS YEAR WE CEMENT OUR NAME IN HISTORY! WATCH GOD SHOW OUT IN 2019 pic.twitter.com/ngRMjpxo6S
Here’s a peek at the opening video package for PFL’s 2018 finals on NYE. Whole year has built up to these $1 million finals. I’m definitely intrigued. pic.twitter.com/Qc51DH72RP— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 27, 2018
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Chris Weidman retained his middleweight title at UFC 168 when he snapped Anderson Silva’s shin by checking a kick in their rematch. In the co-main event that evening, Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate with a third round armbar to retain her bantamweight title.
The last PPV of the year is upon us and it should be a really good one, in spite of all the hullabaloo surrounding it. Keep it locked to MMAFighting for all your UFC 232 coverage needs and we’ll be back on Monday.
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