After his positive drug test, which revealed that the polarizing star Jon Jones had a very low level of a prohibited steroid (Turinabol) in his system, UFC was shaken to its roots which led Dana White and the whole UFC team to move the fight to Las Angeles California in a matter of days.
Originally planned for T- Mobile Arena, UFC 232 will be held at the Forum in Inglewood's Los Angeles suburb, UFC spokeswoman Lenee Breckenridge said.
As the UFC 232 event is controversially moved from Las Vegas to Southern California on a six-day notice, sending fans and fighters into meltdown as the promotion frankly attempts to clean up the mess.
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I am focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I'm a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.
(USADA) an Anti- Doping Agency that checks if any UFC fighter is using any of the performance enhancement drugs, on Thursday reported that the urine samples from Jon Jones' 9 December test showed that Jones had what the agency called an extremely small amount of anabolic steroid metabolite in his system which doesn't enhance player's performance.
USADA Statement on Jon Jones Sample and UFC Anti-Doping Policy pic.twitter.com/TJfbJB5X9W
— USADA (@usantidoping) December 23, 2018
White chose to move the scheduled UFC 232 card of Saturday night from the T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to the Forum in Inglewood, California, instead of removing Jones from the main event.
The commission scheduled a hearing in January, but the event was on Saturday and Jones had already heard the California commission. Reportedly, as per California Commission, Jones has a very low percent of PED on his system which is yet to be cleared, and for that, Jones has already received an 18 months' suspension hence they have given a green signal for the fight.
Dana White informed the match was shifted to California saying:
"He chose the latter"
Further, Dana let the media know that he offered Gustafsson another date at UFC 235 in the T- Mobile Arena, but The Mauler agreed to see Jones in Inglewood's Los Angeles.
While further said:
The tickets are reimbursed, changing bookings during a bus journey is not an ideal way to spend Christmas if it is possible. The plan is for all fighters to arrive in Las Vegas as usual in the fight week.
White further added:
Fans who bought tickets for the event at the T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will get tickets the first priority.
Hence, UFC 232 events scheduled for Saturday at the T- Mobile Arena will take place at The Forum in Inglewood's Los Angeles suburb, as per UFC's spokeswoman. The decision to move the event was not made lightly, White said that the UFC lost $5 million on the gate alone after $6 million was guaranteed for the T- Mobile Arena event.
In response to the criticism UFC president, Dana White defended the former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones ( 22- 1, 1 NC) and said that it was a right thing to do. Dana too admitted that he couldn't be suspended again for the same byproduct.
Jon Jones has also replied to the whole situation as:
I am focused on achieving my ultimate goal of reclaiming my Light Heavyweight title. I have willingly submitted to every USADA test in the lead up to this fight and USADA has confirmed what I've been saying all along, that I'm a clean athlete. I sincerely thank the California State Athletic Commission and Andy Foster for doing the right thing and supporting me through this process. I cannot wait to fight Alex Gustafsson this Saturday, December 29th at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood.
After the whole USADA Drama, Jones and Alexander Gustafsson have been going back and forth at each other, which is actually good for the promotion.
You’re way too lame to write something clever like this, tell whoever did a good job. https://t.co/ZVCPGKNoeD
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Making excuses already, was steroids the reason you lost the first time too? Just curious https://t.co/ZVCPGKNoeD
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
Despite Dana White's Assurance to provide tickets to the fans who bought the tickets earlier but MMA fans are still seen complaining about the whole issue.
Let's take a look at some of the popular fan tweets who clearly seem dissatisfied at the recent UFC fight shift:
$1200 on flights from florida, $800 for hotel for the weekend, $300 for a car for the week...now a free Saturday night in Vegas
— 50 shades of Greg (@gyellin) December 24, 2018
We did. 3 of them for family vacation that we paid for 3 months ago. Refunds will come back in 7-10 days. No way to afford 3 new floor seats, and eating the change over fees for flight and hotel. We will be in Las Vegas with our 11 yr old and no fight.
— Tim Bilbrey (@tbilbrey1) December 24, 2018
I'm French, and in France MMA show are forbidden. I had booked a trip to Vegas, hotel nights for my wife, my two kids (they practice BJJ here !) and myself when only the Cyborg/Nunes fight was known ! It was supposed to be our collective Christmas present. UFC is unforgivable
— Thomas Pagotto (@MasterMaroh) December 24, 2018
Bought elite membership to UFC fight club so I could buy tickets early. Dad and I planned to make a nice vacation out of it. Birthday/Christmas presents. Been watching Bones since UFC 100 and have been his supporter since. Trip is now cancelled. Will have to watch PPV, again.
— Anthony Galavotti (@a_galavotti) December 24, 2018
In less than seven years, Jones has had two high- profile arrests– for a DUI charge and a felony hit- and- run, he was then tested positive for cocaine metabolites and was suspended twice for prohibited substances and was removed from his title.