UFC 200 was supposed to be a monumental event in the world of mixed martial arts, but now that yet another fight has been scrapped, it has become a complete disaster.
Saturday night’s event supposed to be a landmark event, but headliner Jon Jones has been pulled from the event following a “possible drug violation.” This is a huge setback, and now the UFC and their president, Dana White, are in full-on triage mode to rescue their marquee event.
UFC 200 has already had its fair share of problems leading in, so this is more like the cherry on top of the catastrophic sundae.
For one, UFC was already going into Saturday’s event without two of their most well-known fighters, Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor. Rousey’s absence was understandable, given that she’s been working to get healthy. But McGregor’s absence is tougher to swallow. Originally set to be part of the main event in a fight against Nate Diaz, McGregor was pulled from the card after a disagreement over how to promote the fight and a rash decision to “retire” from the sport, something he later took back.
Perhaps no one is more devastated about Jones being taken off the card than the man who was supposed to face him, Daniel Cormier.
“It’s very sad from a competitive standpoint, from a financial standpoint, there are a number of ways in which this is disappointing,” Cormier said (via Fox Sports). “I really don’t know exactly how to explain how I’m feeling right now.”
Obviously, this fight meant a lot to Cormier, especially since he and Jon Jones have an intense history, with Cormier saying a few days ago that he’d rather die than lose to Jones. Given all the training Cormier’s gone through to prepare for this fight, his sentiment is easy to understand.
This also hurts for Jon Jones, who’s staunchly been against performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. Given the nature of the accusation, it would be a long road to clearing his name.
But this likely hurts UFC and Dana White the most. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports reported on the hastily called press conference to announce the removal of the Jones-Cormier fight, where Dana White said, “If a fight of this magnitude falls off, at least it’s the biggest, baddest card we’ve ever had,” White said, seemingly trying to convince himself. “I guess if it’s going to happen …”
The company went from potentially being able to have one of its biggest stars in Conor McGregor appear along with a Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier rematch, to having a fight card that will be headlined by the return of Brock Lesnar, who hasn’t fought in UFC since UFC 141 in 2011. There’s no doubt that this new headliner will be an interesting fight and a big draw, but it simply doesn’t carry the weight that the Jones-Cormier fight did or that a McGregor fight would.
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