Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier came together at the UFC 178 media day to get the hype train rolling, and boy, they did in a big way. Unfortunately for PR man Dave Sholler, “DC” and “Bones” decided to get their fight going early, and proceeded to brawl in front of the shocked media, in what has turned out to be the most publicized fight of the year.
In a strange turn of events, Jones has withdrawn from his booking against Cormier in September, due to a torn meniscus, and will instead face the former Strikeforce heavyweight GP winner in January 2015. UFC president Dana White, on holiday at the time of the impromptu fracas, says he would have handled things very differently if he were in Sholler’s shoes. Check out what he said to UFC.com:
“As soon as Jones went up and their bodies touched, I would have separated them,” White said. “Sometimes you’ll see me put a hand in, or sometimes you’ll see me do something else. I would have separated them. It was the head butt, Jones headbutted Cormier – that’s what upset [Daniel] and made him push him back. I would have got my arm in there before that contact was even made. I would have seen the contact coming and I would have stopped it. Then I would have been right in the middle. Would I have stopped that whole thing from going down, who the f**k knows? I wasn’t here.”
Cormier has since said that Jones’ head butt was the cause of the whole scenario, but it takes two to tango. Regardless of who was to blame, the brawl has been met with mixed reactions from the fans and media alike. White though, is understanding of the reasons why the heated staredown broke down so quickly:
“One little thing can trigger two guys, who are the baddest dudes on the planet, who are face to face. That’s what they do, period. People can try to sugar coat it or try to spin any way that they want, that’s the reality. That’s who they are, that’s what they’re paid to do and that’s what you show up to watch. These guys, that’s who they are to the core. And when you get two guys like that and you don’t handle the situation the right way to defuse it, that’s what happens. The difference is that Sholler has never been in that position before.”
With such a fine line between right and wrong in the UFC, it’s hard to see White’s logic here, at least in my opinion. When you say that Jason High and Paul Daley were clearly in the wrong for their infractions, how can you pin the Jones/Cormier media day brawl down to ‘that’s who they are’? At the end of all this drama, I just get the impression that double standards are at play here.
I’m not grabbing the pitch fork or hoping to rally a crowd, but you get my point. Do you feel like the glamorizing of the UFC 178 media day brawl is a black eye on MMA as a whole, as will as a kick to the ribs of guys like ‘Semtex’ and High, or is the hype train that much more important than standards and ethics?