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UFC will pay zero price for being Jon Jones’ biggest enabler

By Zach Arnold | January 13, 2015

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When former NFL players sued the league over brain damage, it didn’t stop the public from watching games. Ratings remain robust for broadcast network television stations in America.

When former NFL players alleged team doctors handed out drugs without prescriptions, the Feds paid attention but the fans didn’t. And that scandal went nowhere.

So why should I think that UFC or the Nevada State Athletic Commission will pay any sort of price with the public for allowing Jon Jones to fight Daniel Cormier after testing positive for using cocaine recreationally? UFC doesn’t care because, hey, Jon Jones has some sort of constitutional right to fight. I’m unaware of what section the Constitution specifically states this, but plenty of people in the fight business have always believed there’s a God-given right to pummel and be-pummeled.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, under Marc Ratner’s tenure, was brilliant at playing the political game. Ratner and his buddy, public relations mastermind Sig Rogich, were the best in the business. Keith Kizer was terrible at the political game. His fatal crime was loving to hear his voice too much. If you’re going to have someone in place who goes along to get along, you want someone quiet and unassuming like Bob Bennett to do the job. And the commission’s current public face, Francisco Aguilar, is Andre Agassi’s lawyer. Andre Agassi admitted in a book that he used crystal meth while actively playing on the ATP. Famous athletes have vices. Film at 11. It’s my opinion that Aguilar won’t throw the book at Jones.

As for that whole CIR (Carbon Isotope Ratio) testing issue with Jones, it’s going to go nowhere. Don’t hold your breath.

Does the general public have it right to be more concerned about possible testosterone/steroid usage than recreational cocaine usage?

Jon Jones allegedly spent one day in rehab. Now the ball is in UFC’s court. Tell me what price the UFC is going to exactly pay when they book Jones to fight again shortly after leaving rehab? There is no price to pay. From my perspective, the general public that buys UFC PPV does not care if Jon Jones uses cocaine recreationally. As long as he fights brilliantly, life goes on. To each his own.

Does the general public watching UFC fights consider recreational cocaine usage to be performance enhancing? Until that answer becomes a firm “yes,” I expect all of the hullabaloo from the last 10 days to quietly fade away. Jon Jones using cocaine recreationally isn’t going to stop fans from buying PPVs if he’s fighting Anderson Silva or Cain Velasquez.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “UFC will pay zero price for being Jon Jones’ biggest enabler”

  1. Diaz' spacked bowl says:

    Since you mention drain damage…Have you considered that in order for a KO to happen there needs to be two fighters. Yet the KO’d fighter, suffering some severe head trauma doesn’t get any extra $ for his trauma. While the KO’r is rewarded with a WIN bonus AND KO of the night, or in the modern PC parlance of the times…”performance of the night” bonus.
    Note that ufc stimulates this damage friendly environment by the bonus system, win/KO etc…. and by firing grapplers who refuse to “stand and bang”. I recall a few stand out grapplers, one loss and they were cut.

    Its pretty lame when you think about it.
    When you watch a brutal “thrilling” KO, you say…”OOOOOH WOW” but you also feel the pain and say…”OUCH!” Next time when that guy gets ktfo i’ll say “Ouch! he just lost a lot of money!”

    And anyone who thinks speed is not performance enhancing, hasn’t tried it.

    • rst says:

      “…While the KO’r is rewarded with a WIN bonus AND KO of the night,…”

      I see what your saying.
      But thats just the cruel tutelage of humanity.

      There has to be humanity, or there wouldn’t be people.

  2. Mark says:

    Letting a fighter’s jail sentencing for domestic violence be dictated by his next boxing match was barely a scandal, so NV will never get into trouble for this.

    If Floyd Mayweather was a football player who had a judge allow him to stay free until after the Super Bowl, it would have been front page news for a month. But people don’t expect anything much from boxers or MMA fighters. As long as they don’t go Mike Tyson level crazy, it’s not news.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I expect him to face no meaningful penalties from this event. I don’t think anyone cares, really.

    • Safari_Punch says:

      I don’t know if that’s true.

      The UFC want to position themselves with the rest of the major sports. They don’t even have a grasp of why Jones being allowed to fight while testing for cocaine isn’t acceptable. Name any major sport that would allow an athlete to compete if testing showed they tested positive for a recreational drug — especially if they know that information will be of public record?

      Maybe the lack of “caring” by various stakeholders has more to do with the fact the UFC isn’t getting the eyeballs they once did. You could also be right. Society has become so jaded to these sort of failed tests that its not a shock to that sports figures are going to test positive for something eventually.

      Time will tell.

  4. rst says:

    “…possible testosterone/steroid usage than recreational cocaine usage…”

    One of those is definitely cheating at the sport.
    Although you might say that cocaine is a painkiller, I dont see how it can make you train better or more powerful.
    Weed probably doesn’t either.
    (Although enough of it it does seem to have an overall doping effect.)
    You just have to have it out of your system by fight time.

    • Mark says:

      Cocaine gives you energy. If you’re exhausted during your training session and get a boost, beyond the regulated Xyience Energy Drink ™, and the other guy doesn’t, it’s cheating.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    I don’t think the UFC has enough fans left to have a large outcry at this time.

    But you can tell by the online comments that people are completely losing their faith in the UFC and it is pushing fans away slowly.

    • rst says:

      I have faith.
      This is a great sport.
      The only sport that I’ve ever had interest in.

    • Mark says:

      It’s not that the fans have dwindled to a ridiculous degree, it’s that more casual fans don’t give a shit about drugs. Most casual baseball fans didn’t care about steroids, it made the game exciting. The purists worried about records being broken were the ones who really cared.

      And recreational drugs, as long as it’s not Bath Salt that has a fighter winning by eating his opponent’s face, won’t be cared about either. Nick Diaz could smoke a joint on his walk out and few would care. Jones could be caught snorting lines during those locker room cams and few would care. Athletes are pieces of meat to most people. If something makes them better, the masses don’t care about the health risks. How many people backed GSP in his quest for Olympic drug testing? Next to nobody. And who is more popular than Georges?

  6. Diaz' spacked bowl says:

    pfff, FU nazi ufc and your uniforms….look at this nonsense…

    1. Ranked fighters will get to pick their color scheme first, with the higher ranked fighter getting first selection if he/she faces another ranked opponent. Same colors can not be used. Unranked fighters will work with matchmakers to select colors.

    2. Each fighter and their cornermen will be issued official Reebok gear upon arrival of host city. Product will include a gym bag, hoodie, T-shirt, workout shorts, weigh-in shorts, weigh-in walkout sweatpants, weigh-in T-shirt, weigh-in walkout hoodie, weigh-in hat, underwear, socks and shoes. Women will also be issued sports bras.

    3. If any fighter or a member of their corner refuses to wear the issued gear, they will assessed a penalty which includes a fine and possibly removal from the event.

    4. Fighters must wear Reebok-issued gear during all UFC sponsored events including open workouts, media day, weigh-ins and press conferences. A fighter can opt to wear business or business casual attire to the press conference instead of the issued gear.

    5. A fighter is responsible for lost merchandise and/or replacement costs.

    6. Fighters are paid by the UFC within 10 business days of their fight. Fighters are paid based on the UFC fighter pay scale and their official ranking at the time of weigh-in.

    7. The UFC logo is not to be covered and no other logo and/or sponsor can be visible while UFC has the option to add another sponsor/logo to the attire.

    8. All headphones worn by fighters must be supplied by “Monster.”

    9. After each fight, the fighter is required to select one piece of their official walkout gear-the product they physically wore to the Octagon (not including underwear) and return it to the UFC equipment manager.

    10. Fighters must also wear Reebok apparel for any UFC-produced show including, Embedded, UFC Tonight, UFC Countdown, Ultimate Insider and The Ultimate Fighter.

    “Hey why do I have to be Mr Pink?”
    “Nonsense bs reply”
    “That’s easy for you to say, you got a cool color…Mr Black. I mean c’mon…”


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