When two men are due to meet in a title fight, it’s not unusual for tensions to run high. This is to be expected, especially when the individuals do not like or respect each other.
Even so, you do expect these emotions to be kept in check and saved for "fight day".
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier decided that their news conference at the MGM Grand Hotel was as good a time as any.
I suppose you could say that UFC Lightweight Heavyweight Jon Jones started it.
In the quickly circulating video of the confrontation, we see Cormier shove the champion.
However, it’s believed that Jones put more force into their “head bump” than necessary.
This is thought to be what set Cormier off. Jones responded and from that moment it was on.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 5, 2014
The promotional backdrop fell as to two fighters tumbled off stage. As blows were exchanged, security guards desperately tried to break the two men up.
Jones’s manager, Malki Kawa, became involved at this point. Kawa pulled Cormier away from Jones. Cormier was eventually escorted away from the area.
Meanwhile Jones, who had gotten the best of Cormier during the brawl, hopped back on stage to trash talk his departing opponent.
— BarDown (@BarDown) August 4, 2014
There is a possibility that both men can and will be penalized for their misconduct.
"This is certainly not a proud moment for the UFC organization," said Kirk Hendrick, the UFC's chief legal officer in a statement.
“Whether you're the champion, or this is your first fight in the UFC, there are going to be ramifications from the UFC for these actions."
While the possibility of punishment isn’t too surprising, it’s possible this reflected better on the UFC than Hendrick expected.
To be frank, this is the kind of publicity you can’t buy.
POLL: What's your reaction to the Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier brawl at UFC 178 media day? http://t.co/aJWSzm8LEl
— MMATorch (@mmatorch) August 5, 2014
How many more people will be watching UFC 178 on pay-per-view as a result of this bust-up?
Tension and passion like this makes for an exceptionally good fight. Curious individuals may decide to tune in just to see who comes out on top during the official fight.
Image via Wikimedia Commons