What is happening with UFC 232: full details and reaction
Today it was announced that UFC 232 has been moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The decision to move the event is due to an abnormality in a drug test belonging to Jon Jones. The test was collected on December 9th where a trace of the banned substance, turinabol was found. This is the very same substance that Jones tested positive for in 2017 and was suspended by the UFC for 15 months.
Talking to SportsCenter Dana White told them:
“Nevada does not have the time to see us and go through a hearing to find out what California already knows.”
“There’s not enough time for Nevada to do this, so we’re moving the event to California where the commission has already dealt with Jon Jones. They were the ones dealing with this and they have all the history with him.”
“If these guys even doubted that something bad happened here and he was wrong or whatever, the fight’s off. We’d pull the fight.”
“Jones didn’t do anything wrong here. All the biggest experts, the smartest people in the world that deal with this are saying that he did not cheat, he didn’t do anything. So how do we not do this fight?”
In an interview with USA Today UFC vice-president of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky added to those comments stating:
“He’s been cleared to fight in terms of the USADA program. USADA fully analysed it internally.”
“They reached out to outside experts from around the world. They reached out to another sports league that has seen the same issue.
“And all of them, independent of us, determined that this was not a re-ingestion of the substance and this very, very small amount that was occurring and still showing up, according to these expects from around the world, did not provide any performance-enhancing benefit.”
Following the news Jon Jones took to social media to give his statement on what has happened.
View this post on Instagram
I am focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I'm a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.
The news came with major backlash from fighters and not to mention fans who paid to see the event in Las Vegas. Jones’ opponent Alexander Gustafsson gave his reaction on twitter along with other signed UFC fighters.
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) December 24, 2018
He tested positive again!
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 23, 2018
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 24, 2018
Hey @CoreyA_MMA, I’m here in Vegas now. I got a car if you need a ride, an air bnb with a room if you need somewhere to crash and a helping hand for anything you and your family need brother. https://t.co/sin5f9nHf5
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) December 24, 2018
To the fans disappointed about the Venue change for #UFC232 I apologize it’s out of my control. For those of you no longer able to attend because of the move to LA my teams working on an official #CyborgNation viewing party in Vegas. @ParadigmSM https://t.co/lUUr99efCD
— Cris Cyborg #CyborgNation (@criscyborg) December 24, 2018
Well… wasn’t expecting to pay California state taxes this Holiday season. #UFC232
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) December 24, 2018
Media and fans who were supposed to be attending the event also weighed in on what has happened. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani offered up what a solution with a Wrestlemania throwback while also explaining the harsh reality of how fighters found out.
Would have made way more sense, IMHO, to do this like they did Wrestlemania 2. Keep the card in Vegas, but just move the Jones-Gus fight to the Forum. When the Vegas card ends, air it on the big screen at T Mobile. One fight card at Forum. (Not joking. Way less headache.)
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 24, 2018
I’ve talked to multiple UFC 232 fighters and/or their reps and every single one said they found out about the location change via Twitter (or some other form of social media).
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 24, 2018
Luke Thomas of MMAFighting.com was informed that he is unable to attend the event while many fans have also been affected by this change too.
And just like that, I'm told I'm no longer attending UFC 232 by my work. No way to make it work this late. Nuts.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 24, 2018
This is No.1 Bullsh**t! Traveling from the UK and have already paid a lot of money for flights, hotel and tickets and now I’m expected book a whole new holiday on 6 days notice! What can I do?
😡😡😢😢@ufc @UFCEurope @bokamotoESPN @NewYorkRic @MMAjunkie @MMAFighting @MMA_Jim https://t.co/NoHhSspVJB
— Bailey (@mattbailey1991) December 23, 2018
At the time of writing no compensation for fans has been announced. The unfortunate circumstance affects almost every party from the fighters, to the families of fighters and finally the fans. We will keep you updated with any updates that occur.
University of Limerick Economics and Finance Graduate. Editor for MMA Latest News and contributor to MMA Viking also featured on IMMAF, Fox Sports Asia, FanSided MMA and MMA-Today.