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The Pioneer

The curse on UFC 200 continues

Kali Persall,
Managing Editor

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The biggest mixed martial arts fight of the year has had its fair share of problems.

On Wednesday, just three days before UFC 200 in Las Vegas, the main event and title fight, Jon “Bones” Jones against Daniel Cormier, was dropped from the card.  

On July 6, a drug test administered to Jones by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in June came back positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug, according to ESPN. Although Jones denied taking any substances in a press conference that followed the finding, he was pulled from the fight and now faces a potential two-year suspension from the UFC pending a formal investigation, a standard sanction for this type of violation, according to an ESPN article.

UFC 200 has been a roller coaster for mixed martial arts fans. This is the second time the main event was canceled, the first was the Conor McGregor against Nate Diaz rematch that was scheduled for April.

Jones is no stranger to transgressions. In April 2015 he was involved in a hit-and-run of a pregnant woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico and later that year in December, he tested positive for cocaine prior to his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, according to ESPN. Because the test was conducted outside of the jurisdiction of the UFC in no relation to the competition, he was allowed to compete and won.

“This is weird to say, but this might be the best thing that ever happened to Jon Jones because he seems like a completely different person and the way he carries himself, the things that he’s done, and then boom this happens,” UFC president Dana White told reporters at a UFC 200 press conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Just two days before the event, middleweight striker Anderson “The Spider” Silva, replaced Jones as Cormier’s new challenger.

Typically, fighters train for months to prepare for fights. However if anyone can take a fight on two-days notice and hold their own, it’s Silva, 33-7-0, who has made 10 successful title defenses and carries 13 post-fight bonus awards, the most in UFC history, according to the UFC.

“I haven’t trained in a few months, but I think I’m in good condition to go in there and put on a good fight,” Silva told reporters at a UFC press conference on Thursday.

However in the world of professional sports, business moves quickly and Cormier versus Silva failed to reclaim the main event position.

If nothing else goes wrong before Saturday evening, the title fight for the women’s bantamweight belt, Miesha “Cupcake” Tate versus Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes will headline along with the heavyweight fight between former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. wrestler Brock Lesnar and Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt, the co-main event, according to ESPN.

This is fitting, since Lesnar headlined UFC 100 in 2009, before he disappeared from the UFC world to pursue wrestling in the WWE.

UFC 200 is expected to be an even bigger draw than UFC 100, which brought in 1.6 million pay-per-view buys, an attendance of 10,000 and a $5 million revenue from the gate alone, according to MMA Manifesto.

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The curse on UFC 200 continues