The UFC moved its December 29th UFC232 card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on just 6 days’ notice after the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided not to issue headliner Jon “Bones” Jones a license to fight in the state.
Earlier in the month, Jones’ tested positive for trace amounts of the steroid turinabol; the same substance he’d been suspended for taking back in 2017.
Nevada felt it lacked the time to investigate if the test results were tied to Jones’ ingestion of the drug 15 months earlier, but the California State Athletic Commission ruled the adverse finding was in fact the result of residual “pulsing”; an exemption that allowed him to fight at The Forum in Inglewood.
UFC President Dana White insisted the fight wasn’t happening because of “money” and that it had to take place because Jones didn’t do anything wrong, but that’s simply not true.
Jones may be innocent, but White needed the fight to happen because his promotion lacks star power and Bones is one of just two UFC fighters capable of drawing 1 million PPV buys; exclude McGregor’s October fight against Khabib and there wasn’t a single 2018 UFC card that did 400,000 buys.
Does anyone pretend to believe White would have moved the card for any other fighter on the roster, not named Connor McGregor?