The Ultimate Fighting Championship went into crisis mode this week, moving the highly-anticipated UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on six days’ notice after learning that the Nevada Athletic Commission would not license headliner Jon Jones to fight.
In the wake of an “abnormal finding” that the former champ’s urine still had a trace amount of Turinabol, the same steroid for which he was suspended last summer, fighters and fans alike were left scrambling. There was also no shortage of controversy, with high-profile observers weighing in on whether the test result was an indicator of ongoing PED use by Jones, or an insignificant anomaly. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan discussed the situation on the latest episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast and claimed he doesn’t believe Jones took anything this time.
“I don’t know what the f*ck is happening,” Rogan said. “I really don’t. But they seem very confident that you’re not dealing with someone who is taking a drug again. You’re dealing with the very same drug that he took ‘x’ amount of months ago, still in his system. The drug he’s already been punished for.
“I understand that people get mad,” Rogan continued. “But you don’t want to accuse someone of something they’re not really guilty of. He’s definitely guilty of taking it the first time. People are accusing him of being stupid and taking it again. I don’t think that’s true. I don’t know for a fact, but what I’m reading from actual experts leads me to believe that they’re making sense. But I would have to talk to someone who disagrees who knows more about it than me to really form an opinion. So my opinion is like ‘well, if I had to bet, I would say he probably didn’t do anything.”
Rogan said he couldn’t recall an event of this magnitude ever switching venues in such a short time frame as events normally get cancelled. The veteran commentator recalled the UFC moving the first event he ever worked on a single day’s notice, but acknowledged the scale of a modern UFC card is completely different.
“This is what happened the very first UFC I ever did,” Rogan said. “The very first UFC I ever worked was in Dothan, Alabama. UFC 12. But it was supposed to be in New York state. They canceled it in New York state, they wouldn’t let them do it, and they switched the whole thing overnight down to Dothan, Alabama… It was weird. It was weird back then. But that’s the only time I’ve ever heard of something changing this close to -- that was one day, this is one week. I’ve never heard of an event changing like this before.”