Ultimate Fighting

Ugly Scenes Spark UFC 178 Excitement

The following article is from Zac Johnson.

Jon Jones puts his arms in the air after the UFC light heavy weight championship fight against Glover Texeira at Baltimore Arena. Jones retained the light heavy height championship by defeating Teixeria. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Jones puts his arms in the air after the UFC light heavy weight championship fight against Glover Texeira at Baltimore Arena. Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones’ agent Malki Kawa usually has his hands full trying to explain the often controversial behaviour of the UFC’s dominant light-heavyweight champion, but Kawa was forced to come out this week to deny he had thrown punches during the ugly scenes that marred the opening of UFC 178’s promotional tour.

During the face-off, Jones and upcoming opponent Daniel Cormier seemingly couldn’t wait until September 27th to get their hands on each other, resulting in a mini-brawl in the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While Cormier appeared to take umbrage with Jones getting too close, the light-heavyweight champion was shown thrown at least one punch in scenes that only further hyped an event many UFC fans can’t wait for and one that has split many betting punters.

It was during the resulting scuffle in which some observers accused Jones’ agent Malki Kawa, if throwing a punch in the direction of Cormier. While there was certainly a lot of action going on, from Cormier throwing a shoe to Conor McGregor taking selfies despite the ruckus, footage cleared Kawa of any wrongdoing and Jones’ agent came out to claim he had in fact been trying to break the fight up.

With all parties quick to try and play down the incident and move on, the brawl won’t have done anything to help win over mixed martial arts critics who view the sport as barbaric. The fact is, however, that this sort of issue has become extremely rare in the UFC over the past decade. While the scenes in the lobby of the MGM Grand won’t have shocked many boxing fans, it hasn’t gone down well in the MMA community who know the sport needs to continue to improve some of its public image.

That said, there isn’t anything that could have built up the hype more for the event than what occurred and the betting odds reflected that. While Jones and Cormier were both apologetic afterwards, the duo will be well aware that the incident could well help turn UFC 178 into one of the best-selling events in the company’s history.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.