Sometimes things happen and you just scratch your head wondering why. Could the Jones / Cormier incident from yesterday be one of them?
On the surface it seems pretty obvious they must not like each other. You can make this assumption based solely on the events as they’ve occurred. Of course there are plenty who would say this is no big surprise. And anyone who’d doubt that there was any tension in the room can just take a look at the photo above to see Cormier’s pit stains. (Sorry DC) But that’s a pretty clear indicator of stress. He either didn’t want to be there or didn’t want to be anywhere near Jones. In either case, one of them would have to go right?
As a Champ, Jones is going to have enemies. People who envy him or despise him. You can’t take away the fact it’s human for many people to want what he has. However, there’s a time and place for everything and here is where things start to break down.
The fight is going to happen. It’s on the books, the payouts have been determined, judges have likely been selected, the venue is definitely identified. Save for some miserably unfortunate incident that would prevent it from happening (like a fouled up media event where people sustain injuries) then it’s as good as gold that this is taking place.
So what the heck is the rush about? These are “Professional” fighters. Not babies, not adolescents with raging hormones. Ok, that last one might be in dispute based purely on the over abundant use of performance “enhancers” that many athletes appear to take.
But seriously… In the ring these guys need to know when to wait and when to move. Granted, while everyone has their own “style” of fighting it just doesn’t seem like two athletes of this caliber would resort to a literal casino brawl over getting just a bit too close to one another. And if that was legitimately a concern then why the heck didn’t anyone from the UFC or the Commission have safe guards in place to prevent a brawl from happening?
You could argue that this sort of drama is great for getting more attention. But then the question of public safety arises and that’s when you get regulators, attorneys, judges and really anyone with a stick up their… let’s just say people with agendas, who want to see this “sport” shut down.
We are constantly fighting for legalization of the sport in places like NY and exactly how is that supposed to fly when you have a fiasco like this taking place in a tightly packed public venue? Imagine, the spaces in New York come at a higher premium, crowds may be closer, and what if the events inspired a public brawl to ensue with “inspired” fans who want to take part in the action?
This is exactly the kind of stuff that makes it nearly impossible to find public venues that want to broadcast UFC events. Well, that and absolutely exorbitant fees from the UFC. But again that’s a digression to the main topic.
So really, was this event planned? Or was it really something that took everyone by surprise? In many people’s minds the possibility of either scenario is a bit discouraging.
Today the UFC is having a Fan Q&A at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Should everyone be ready for a fan to get taken down for asking “the wrong question”? Or how about a little inspired violence?
It’s likely the discussion of these topics will annoy some people and that’s truly unfortunate since we love this sport and only want to see it grow in popularity.
But getting excitement around a fight based purely on tabloid trash talk and instigated public spectacles might make this seem less like a sport and more like entertainment for entertainment’s sake and if that is the case then where do we draw the line? A large chunk of fans watch MMA because it’s “more real” than Pro Wrestling.
So something’s got to give after this event. The best out come would be sanctioning both fighters for their outburst by docking their pay or fining them. It’s also likely the UFC, and the Commissions in general, should consider disqualification from a fight as a possible consequence.
Bottom line. Keep it in the ring ladies and gentlemen. Rest assured if you can’t do it yourselves someone else will come in and do it for you (NY State Pro MMA Ban) and that would be a huge shame.