The UFC is still taking heat for how it handled the company’s decision to move Saturday’s card from Las Vegas to Los Angeles; case in point, Cris “Cyborg’s” criticized the promotion in a recent episode of her vlog.
Unless you’ve been outside of civilization enjoying the Holidays this past week, you know that UFC 232 has been moved, after Jon Jones’ drug test returned with an abnormal result. Since Jones can’t receive a license in Nevada right now, the highly anticipated event has been moved to L.A., as the former champ’s received a license from the California Commission.
Well, the last minute move understandably upset a lot of fans, who booked flights and accommodations weeks ago for a Vegas card, as well as fighters who have been forced to make last-minute changes for themselves and their camps. Then…there’s the issue that apparently some fighters found out about the card’s relocation through the media.
In a recent episode of “Cyborg’s” vlog for UFC 232, she had this to say about the promotion’s handling of the situation (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“This is crazy,” said the featherweight champ “Cyborg”, who is going to fight bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes on Saturday. “They’re supposed to contact everybody. We’re partners. We’re partners. We can’t partner together … and they don’t contact you before. But I was in touch with my manager and he didn’t know, too. He was buying gifts for his family. Nobody knows. Just really don’t like. How can you call media and not call your fighters? For you to prepare yourself before and handle things before. How long do they know this?”
…“I trained for this fight nine months. I want to fight. I just feel upset about my fans, the people who bought a ticket. And about family that’s gonna come. But my thoughts continue, I’m gonna fight Amanda. It doesn’t matter where, if you move the city. It’s just, this is really crazy because people bought a ticket, made plans for family in Las Vegas. But in my mind, I’m training, I’m ready, I was ready a long time ago for this fight. I really don’t want to change the date. But I’m sad about the people who cannot come and make it [to] LA.”
Yup. The optics here for how the UFC went about announcing the change certainly aren’t great. It’s possible the UFC brass determined that they needed to get out in front of this, and provide the media with their explanation as to why they elected to move the card rather than just cancel Jones – Alexander Gustafsson 2. But it seems like that move has backfired, as there’s been plenty of negative feedback sent the UFC’s way the last few days.