UFC President Dana White shook up the MMA world on Sunday when he appeared on SportsCenter to announce that UFC 232 on Dec. 29 will be moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The highly anticipated card is headlined by Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson competing for the UFC light heavyweight belt.
The move is based on licensing. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) reported an atypical finding of a drug test Jones submitted on Dec. 9. USADA, however, ruled that the trace amount found in Jones’ system is consistent with “residual amounts” of a July 2017 test, meaning the low amount does not suggest that Jones readministered a parent drug.
“Both USADA and worldwide anti-doping experts told us this was not a reingestion of a prohibited substance. It was remaining effects from the July 2017 positive test — for which he was already sanctioned,” Jeff Novitzky, UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance, told ESPN. “And probably more importantly, he retains no performance-enhancing benefits from the small presence of the substance.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission would not grant Jones a license, so to keep him on the card, the UFC moved the event to Los Angeles.
When news broke, MMA fighters took to social media to express their opinions on the late-notice change.