UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his upcoming opponent Daniel Cormier were all set for a heated staredown during the UFC 178 media day in Las Vegas, Nevada, only problem is someone must have left the gas on. As the two met head-to-head on stage, an explosive brawl broke out between the two , leaving Dave Scholler and Freddie Roach caught in the crossfire.
‘Bones’ and DC were quick to publicly apologize for the unsightly slug fest but the damage may have already been done. The pair continued to jibe at eachother by social media in the moments following the fracas, but UFC president Dana White seemed none too happy with the entire affair. Many of us fans questioned the impact of two of the promotion’s biggest stars, as did color commentator Joe Rogan. Check out what he said during his recent JRE Podcast (transcribed by MMAFighting.com):
“This can’t happen. You can’t do that. This is real bad for the sport. It’s real bad. It’s real bad for public perception. It’s a weapon to be used against MMA. It’s unfortunate.I think it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. Some of it’s gamesmanship, but it’s just so bad for the image of the sport. It’s pretty rare, but that’s a high profile fight.These guys were not professional. You can’t do that. You can’t grab each other and f***ing slap.”
Rogan makes a fair point with his comments, as far as unprofessionalism is concerned, but what has actually been done about the affray? The NSAC asked for video tape to review the incident, and the UFC president wasn’t happy about it, yet the two have been glamourized by the media in the time since. Indeed, even the official UFC website is showing re-runs of the controversial brawl. JR continues:
“It’s huge. It’s just such a negative connotation attached to what that is. Just violence. The difference between that kind of violence and the violence of a sport is that the violence of a sport, everyone is agreeing with that scenario.It’s a very dangerous form of competition and, yes, it is fighting, as a competition, but it’s not violence the same way that that is. That’s a street fight. That’s a world champion mixed martial arts fighter and an Olympic wrestler and they’re street fighting. That’s bad for everybody. That’s bad for wrestling. That’s bad for MMA. That’s bad for sports.”
Although the fight has likely shown the ugly side of the sport, as if seeing Sakuraba’s ear fall off wasn’t bad enough, it has also garnered a great deal of interest in the UFC 178 headliner. The world of social media blew up in the hours after the untimely tilt, and even Rogan admits that he is hyped about the showdown:
“That fight is going to be amazing no matter what happens, but since it did happen and I got to see it I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ I’m not going to pretend like that’s not fun. I’m not going to pretend like that didn’t make everybody way more excited about that fight because it f***ing for sure did. It’s not good to do, but it was fun to watch and more people are going to be excited about the fight. That’s the catch 22. There’s no real black or white about this. As a representative of the sport I absolutely wish it didn’t happen.”
In what will likely turn out to be the biggest feud in modern MMA, who do you think will come out on top? Both men unbeaten, still hungry, and dominant in style. Jones has the reach and height, but Cormier has explosive power and Olympic level wrestling. Thrown in to the mix was the ugly/exciting brawl that made the internet go crazy, so tell me, how hyped up are you for UFC 178?