UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier had been slated to headline this weekend’s UFC 178 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas. That was, however, before Jones suffered an injury in training that has pushed the bout to UFC 182 in January.
Before the bout was shifted to the New Year, Jones and Cormier went on a small promotional tour with one of the stops being a media day event in Las Vegas. When the two squared up for photographers on a stage, they lost their cool and started pushing and shoving, eventually knocking the display over and forcing UFC Director of Public Relations Dave Sholler off the back of the stage.
The two fighters fell to the floor and tussled, requiring numerous members of the security team and others to separate them.
On Tuesday, Jones and Cormier were called before the Nevada Athletic Commission to answer for their actions, which the state argued was “bad for the sport” and could have led to injury to the fighters and others. Each faced a potential fine of $250,000 and his fight purse for his transgressions.
Jones was first before the commission and readily admitted to the allegations and proffered himself ready to accept whatever punishment the commission deemed appropriate, admitting that he had already suffered a substantial financial penalty in the form of losing his Nike sponsorship, which his attorney characterized as “over six figures” in terms of value.
After much deliberation, the commission decided to fine Jones $50,000 and 40 hours of community service, but did not suspend him.
Cormier also faced a lengthy cross-examination before the commission. The commissioners followed the precedent they set with Jones, but due to Cormier’s lesser financial stature his penalty was slightly less than Jones’ penalty.
The commission issue Cormier a fine of $9,000 and 20 hours of community service. He also escaped without a suspension, leaving the two open to compete, as scheduled, on Jan. 3 at UFC 182.