Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones Trade Barbs In The Wake of UFC 232 Relocation

By Nathan Zur Dec 24, 2018
The MMA world was in full meltdown on Sunday after the news broke that UFC 232 would be relocated from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California on six days’ notice due to an abnormality in Jon Jones’ test results, and one interested observer wasted little time in sounding off.

Jones tested positive for a trace amount of metabolites of Turinabol, the same prohibited substance for which he was sanctioned in July 2017. UFC President Dana White, maintaining his fighter’s innocence, claimed the fight had to go ahead, and UFC 232 has been hastily moved from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood.

The move is not only a logistical nightmare for the promotion but for the fighters on the card -- who only discovered the change of plans at the same time everyone else was finding out -- and the fans who had purchased their tickets and booked hotels in another state, some of whom are traveling from outside the U.S. to attend.

Two-division champion Daniel Cormier, who has history with Jones, having had a scheduled bout at UFC 200 cancelled and a loss to Jones at UFC 214 reversed to a no-contest, both due to positive drug tests by Jones, took to Twitter.

You could easily be mistaken that Jones would be fighting Cormier this weekend if you go by the back-and-forth on Twitter. Here’s the exchange in all its glory. Not restricting his fire to Jones, Cormier referred to UFC Vice-President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitsky, who has come under criticism in the past for appearing to shield the UFC’s stars, and California State Athletic Commission chairman Andy Foster, who licensed Jones when the Nevada commission would not, as “jokes.”

Jones was clearly not impressed with Cormier’s comments and responded through Instagram which was screen grabbed by ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani:

Jones then reignited the exchange through Twitter after a fan sent him a GIF of an emotional Cormier after their second fight. The response was down to a wager Jones recently made with Cormier when he said he’d donate $100,000 of his money to a local charity if Cormier agreed to be his next opponent. The exchange between the pair motivated Jones to increase that amount to $150,000.

Cormier accepted the fight claiming he would donate $125,000 to two different charities on the condition Jones undertake more stringent drug testing.

UFC 232 takes place Saturday, Dec. 29 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. It is headlined by Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson fighting for the soon-to-be-vacated UFC light heavyweight title, with a champ-versus-champ co-main event between featherweight queen Cristiane Justino and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. UFC 232 will be available on pay-per-view, with preliminary bouts to air on UFC Fight Pass.


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