Jon Jones just sat down at a witness table for an NSAC hearing to determine whether he should be punished for the MGM brawl with Daniel Cormier. The Commission members watch the brawl on video while Cormier sits in the back of the room.
The champ’s attorney asks for leniency, given this public spectacle was the first time he’d gone full bad boy in public. Jon adds, “I sincerely apologize to MGM, my bosses at UFC, my fans, Daniel’s fans, and you guys.” He admits it made everyone look bad, and that it was the result of being immersed in a very heated moment.
Of course, he also blames Cormier. After all, nobody has every grabbed him like that before. He didn’t see the push coming, and he reacted. But Jon does takes responsibility, and doesn’t want to blame Cormier. So we have come full circle with a mind-blowing non-blame blame. It is just the sort of unpredictability we have come to expect from Jon.
Jon explains that a champion is forced to react. If he hadn’t, it would have given his opponent confidence and an edge in their competition. Yes, he had to remind Cormier that he was champion. Sort of like disciplining a snappy dog, I suppose.
Jones says he is willing to accept punishment, which he assumes will be financial. But he already lost an over six-figure Nike deal as a result of the brawl. That strikes me as an overreaction on the part of the supercompany.
Commissioner Brady lectures the young champion. He thought Jones was a gentleman. Like a stern father, he asks Jones a rhetorical question: what will happen at the weigh-ins? Of course, Jones isn’t about to lay out his secret plans to poke Daniel in the eye, and he says he plans to give him some distance.
That may be a mistake, of course. It may give Cormier a competitive edge.
Commissioner Aguilar piles on and talks to Jones about losing his habit of being disciplined. Jones promises is will never happen again, because he’s learned so much from this experience.
The Attorney General wants a penalty that would actually act as a deterrent. Perhaps a suspension of some sort is order. A slap on the hand would be an offense to those who conduct themselves in a gentlemanly manner. He must not watch a lot of MMA.
Commissioner Marnell reminds everyone that Jon’s attitude is what will make him a lifelong champion. Of course, Jones just got done explaining that a champ has to engage in these brawls to preserve his superior position. Marnell must not have been listening to that part. He wants a monetary fine.
Commissioner Lundvall suddenly zig-zags and gives us flashbacks of the hearing where Chael Sonnen was ordered to help the Commission. He wants to capture Jon’s influence rather than his fine money. He wants him to do 50 hours of community service and to contribute to a charity.
Brady makes a joke about Dave Sholler. The poor guy will never live it down. Then the Commissioner pleads on behalf of Jon Jones for mercy. Brady has slipped into the delicate clothing of a guardian angel.
The panel debates punishment some more, and finally settles on the deterrent that will ensure this brawling business will never happen again. Jones gets a $50,000.00 fine and 40 hours of community service in Las Vegas. If you see a guy in an orange jump suit picking up trash outside the MGM, wave hello.
Cormier waits in the back, having the benefit of seeing it all go down. The question now is whether he’ll be punished more severely if they believe he initiated the whole thing.
Thanks to Kevin Iole for the play-by-play on Twitter.