Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would rather move an entire pay-per-view (PPV) event to another state than postpone the return of Jon Jones, which sounds like the kind of thing you would dream up after getting drunk at the bar during a UFC event.
No, this is really happening.
Jones returned an abnormality in his most recent drug test and while he was not in violation of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the finding was enough to make Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) pump the brakes on his UFC 232 main event.
So, with Jones no longer welcome in Las Vegas, at least until the commission can perform its due diligence, his Alexander Gustafsson fight — along with everyone else on the Dec. 29 fight card — will be packed up and shipped out to The Forum in Inglewood, California.
What happens to those fans who already bought tickets for T-Mobile Arena?
“Tickets will go on sale Wednesday,” White told ESPN. “People who bought tickets here in Las Vegas can get a full refund and we’ll figure out how to get you seated in L.A. if you’re interested in moving to L.A. to watch the fight.”
I’m from guatemala city, I bought tickets for #UFC232 for my family now it’s cancel, i have bought already plane tickets, car rent, hotel, shows in las vegas from 28-30 of dec, the reason of the Travel is #UFC232 what are you going to do with us? @DamonMartin @ufc @danawhite— RC (@rccastt) December 24, 2018
No word yet on how UFC plans to afford priority (or any) seating to fans who already purchased seats for Las Vegas, but we only have two days until the new tickets are released, so expect an update sooner, rather than later.
Meanwhile, the “Sin City” refund will take 7-10 days to process, according to AXS.com, so don’t rely on that money if you’re planning to buy a new ticket. And expect some competition from those fans in “The Golden State” interested in attending.
We have flown from Australia for the fight and cant change our flights or accommodation. Cant try for new tickets until 3 days before the event so may miss out on booking a car or flight by that time. It’s all a bad dream- we have been looking forward to this all year— Jessica Lauren (@jessicalc21) December 24, 2018
White’s “solution” doesn’t account for those fans who already bought plane tickets and paid for hotel rooms. Some, but not all can cancel without penalty but even If you stay in Las Vegas and commute to Inglewood on Sat. night, you miss the weigh ins and open workouts, along with the rest of the fan-related activities.
The fighters will miss a few things too, like dollars and cents.
Meanwhile, UFC 232 fighters are losing, depending on their income bracket, somewhere between 9.25-13 percent of their purses due to the card being moved from no-tax Nevada to high-tax California.— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) December 24, 2018
Keep in mind, this charade will play out during holiday week, sandwiched in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s not like some random weekend in October. Flights, buses, hotels will all fill up fast if they haven’t already.
This is a train wreck that could have easily been avoided by postponing Jones by a few weeks and promoting the Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes featherweight title fight to the five-round main event.
But I guess they warned us, “card subject to change” (cities).