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UFC called sleazy & embarrassing for moving Jon Jones fight to California (Andy Foster) after Nevada drug test

By Zach Arnold | December 24, 2018

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I want to congratulate Jon Jones, attorney Howard Jacobs, and the rest of Jon’s representatives for completely humiliating and embarassing the biggest power brokers in Mixed Martial Arts. In the process of highlighting the legal sketchiness and authority presented under color of law, the biggest-name regulators in combat sports have been absolutely exposed.

Two weeks after the California State Athletic Commission granted Jon Jones a new license after failing a USADA drug test, the same Athletic Commission attempted to use their governmental authority to make Jones enter into business with a private third party entity. Jones and his team wisely rebuffed this administrative demand and called the bluff. It worked.

*****

Update: Dave Meltzer reports Jon Jones has agreed to third-party drug testing. I understand why Team Jones would give in on this given the completely one-sided leverage here and the impromptu fight in California, but it is horribly depressing to see a governmental body violate the law without any consequences whatsoever.

*****

Days later, Nevada said a Jon Jones drug test raised issues and that they wouldn’t license him to fight NYE weekend.

Rather than continue with the Las Vegas card, UFC packed its bags and requested their number one agent Andy Foster (California State Athletic Commission) for permission to run the Forum in Inglewood. He full-throatedly agreed. Nothing illegal about the action but the sleazy treatment of fans and fighters by UFC has created quite a fury.

If there is one lesson I have learned over the years when covering regulators… that lesson is that the public does not care one bit about a regulatory scandal until their ox gets gored. Until fans and fighters lose money, nobody cares about illegalities. Nobody cares about mistakes. Under normal circumstances, Andy Foster and his right-hand man Mark Relyea would have been fired for exposing veteran referee Marcos Rosales to a fighter who supposedly tested positive for HIV.

Nothing has changed (publicly). Nobody has been suspended. Mark Relyea is apparently still on track for getting promoted. He hasn’t had to publicly testify about what happened. His friends and family continue receiving bookings as athletic inspectors for television events. He continues to draw a paycheck of over $40,000 a year.

Things that matter don’t matter to the public until fans start losing money. That is currently happening as we speak. However, in the grand scheme of things, UFC moving the Jon Jones fight to Inglewood won’t hurt them.

What I am significantly more interested in seeing play out is the now public war between California, Nevada, and the other big boy athletic commissions. Nevada finds itself facing some isolation under new UFC ownership. Things were a lot friendlier and cozier under Frank & Lorenzo Fertitta’s control.

Topics: CSAC, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “UFC called sleazy & embarrassing for moving Jon Jones fight to California (Andy Foster) after Nevada drug test”

  1. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Had USADA served true justice and simply sentenced JJ to the full 4 years for having steroids in his system in the first place, we would not be having this conversation again.

    Wont be watching. Nothing special at all about the card. The main events have 2 cheaters headlining, with several other cheats on the under-card.

    Will watch main event after the fact only if JJ looses.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    The UFC spit in the faces of 15,000 fans who purchased tickets for a big event. It is bad enough when a main event gets cancelled due to injury. It is beyond words when they move the card on less than 1 weeks notice to cover for a drug abuser. If this isn’t rock bottom for the sport, I don’t want to know how low it can go.

    I think it was removed from YouTube, but Dave Meltzer’s radio show had about a 30 minute segment on the entire issue. Dave Meltzer was disgusted by the UFC. He said it with words, but you could truly hear it in his voice.

    When somebody makes money for the UFC, they will continue to allow them cheat. They will allow them to break the law with zero consequences. There is absolutely no moral line they want cross.

    It is safe to say that Dana White is now officially worse than any boxing promoter in the history of the sport.

  3. Fluyid says:

    I haven’t posted here in years. Had to chime in to agree that this is a new low.

  4. Safari_Punch says:

    Thank you Mr. Sakikabara and Mr. Mayweather for giving us promoters we can turn to in our time of need this week.

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