Yesterday the NSAC convened for a disciplinary hearing regarding the much-publicized brawl which took place this past August at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during a press conference that included a photo opportunity and stare down. If you haven’t seen the brawl you don’t have to look far into the depths of the internet to access video. It began with a standard stare down that went drastically wrong. Jon Jones pressed his forehead into Daniel Cormier’s and from there, Cormier pushed him away. What happened from there was an all-out street fight in the middle of MGM’s lobby, with Jones sending a barrage of overhands in Cormier’s direction and Cormier responding with shooting in for a single leg. The whole thing got out of control very quickly and was broken up shortly thereafter.

During Jones’ statement, he accepted full responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse and embarrassment for what he had done. Jones and his legal council also brought to light the loss of a “6 figure plus” endorsement deal with Nike due to the brawl. Ultimately, Jones was fined $50,000 and will have to complete 40 hours of community service prior to application for his license.

Daniel Cormier’s legal team pointed to self-defense, but that was quickly dismissed by the commission due to the fact that Cormier could have backed away after Jones’ pressed his head into his. The commission did point out that during the altercation D.C. never threw a punch and seemed to hold him to lesser liability than Jones. They subsequently fined D.C. $9,000, which is an equivalent percentage of his fight purse as what Jones was fined, and 20 hours worth of community service.

So the legal portion of this is out of the way and both fighters will be granted licenses to face each other in their scheduled bout in January. The financial impact will be minimal, and community service may be an inconvenience, but overall both fighters could have been faced with much more severe consequences. It’s easy to ponder the idea that if this wasn’t a multi-million dollar event things would be different. If the athletes involved were a lesser caliber, the consequences could have possibly been more severe.

Mixed Martial Arts is both a sport and a spectacle, but it’s important that it remains a sport first. It wasn’t long ago that MMA was illegal and to this day it faces criticism that holds back the evolution of the entire mixed martial arts community. The actions of both men may have brought publicity to the UFC that will equate to higher pay-per-view buys, but it weakens the quality of the sport in turn. These two men may fight in the cage, but they are athletes and role models. Not only that, they are citizens and do not have the right to lay hands on one another outside of a sanctioned bout. It seems as though the line between competition and reality may have blurred in the moment, but it is inexcusable. Ultimately it was ego that caused the brawl and as with any athletes representing a sport you should act with maturity, something both men failed to do.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.