Monday wasn't a proud day for the UFC.
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (20-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) and challenger Daniel Cormier (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) went face-to-face for a photo opportunity during UFC 178's media day in Las Vegas, but things quickly turned sour as the two brawled, forcing several organizers to restrain the fighters. Jones put his face directly into Cormier's, who then shoved Jones, provoking an attempted punch from the champion.
While some believe the fight was staged to drum up more anticipation ahead of the Sept. 27th fight, UFC's Chief Legal Officer Kirk Hendrick said that there would be consequences for the stage-wrecking brawl, even after each apologized on ESPN shortly after the incident. For what it's worth, Cormier called Jones a "fake individual" when referring to his apology and said "I'm gonna beat him up on September 27th."
That probably didn't help the fighters' cases while trying to avoid further punishment.
"This is certainly not a proud moment for the UFC organization. We expect more from our athletes, especially these two gentlemen, who are very well-trained and highly educated professionals," Hendrick said. "Their actions were clearly a violation of the UFC's code of conduct."
"There are going to be ramifications. 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."
The Nevada State Athletic Commission is also reviewing the incident and could penalize the fighters independently of the UFC.