By Justin Collins
Doping Spoils UFC 200 | UFC Sold For Record $4 Billion | Diaz Vs. McGregor 2 Looms | Georges St. Pierre Hints At Comeback
What should have been the company’s biggest event turned into a fiasco when reigning pound-for-pound and co-lightweight champion Jon Jones was removed from the fight card 4-days before the bout after a drug testing agency notified the UFC of a potential doping violation. Days after the event, the UFC was informed that heavyweight Brock Lesnar had also failed a drug test.
Jones, who was the most dominant champion in the sports history, faces a 2-year suspension. Meanwhile, his would-be UFC 200 opponent, Daniel Cormier, was left high and dry for a second time and may never be given the opportunity to redeem his only loss. You have to feel for a guy who put in all that work to fight his nemesis not once, but twice, only to be let down by the sports next O.J. Simpson.
Overall UFC 200 hype failed to live up to its potential due to this last minute change up. It makes one wonder how many guys have been juicing over the years if they are finally just now cleaning up the sport.
Shortly following the event, UFC owners announced that the UFC had been sold to entertainment group WME-IMG and several investors for $4 Billion. The UFC was bought in 2001 for $2 Million, this is the most lucrative sports sale in history, and could give the UFC the push it needs for a bigger worldwide brand. As of now, only a handful of fighters have big enough names and reputations that go beyond the octagon. The only thing the sport has to look forward to now is a healthy cache of clean fighters who do the job they train for.
August 20th will feature the rematch of Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, which will likely be one of the top 5 UFC PPV cards ever. Time will tell if former welterweight champion and snoozer, Georges St. Pierre, comes back to the fold. My gut instinct tells me he’ll never fight again, mainly because of the stringent drug testing procedures that are now in place.