Poor Jon Jones. No matter how long he fights, no matter who he beats, no matter how many wins he racks up, he’ll never live down UFC 200.
While Jones has been widely disliked by fans for years now there haven’t been too many specific gripes with him. He’s exciting in the cage, and combines his technical mastery with feats of random athleticism. His refusal to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 is a distant memory for most fans, and has actually been justified over time with the UFC’s merciless fight schedule. His out-of-the-cage antics, quite frankly, aren’t all that bad in a sport with guys like Thiago Silva, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
His pre-fight drug test failure at UFC 200, however, has given all his naysayers ammunition to use against him.
One of those naysayers is going a step past an angry comment or loaded message on Twitter, though. One of them is actually taking him to court over his being pulled from UFC 200.
That fan is Sean Slattery. And he filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court against Jones and his management team, First Round Management, for concealment, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence due the failed drug test that resulted in Jones’ being pulled from the card. According to Slattery, he purchased tickets to the UFC 200 show specifically to see Jones and, according to his lawyers…
“Just before the fight, however, Jones was dropped from the fight card after officials learned that he had tested positive for banned performance-enhancing and/or masking substances. Plaintiff was thus robbed and defrauded of the value of the tickets, wherein he suffered both economic and non-economic harm, as a result of Jones’s actions in violating anti-doping regulations, and First Round’s complicity therein. In the alternative, Jones failed to disclose other controlled substances, and in doing so was negligent, to the relevant testing officials which again deprived Plaintiff of the value of his tickets.”
It’s worth noting that, yes, Jones was almost certainly negligent in some way. According to multiple reports, Jones tested positive for the banned substance Clomiphene, an estrogen blocker commonly used by steroid users to prevent female secondary sexual characteristics from manifesting during steroid use (that is to say, it makes sure they don’t grow moobs). Jones hasn’t yet discussed how he was flagged for it, but maintains that he is innocent, a sentiment that is vouched for by UFC Prez Dana White, who has come out in support of Jones despite the fact they have long butted heads. Still, unless it is discovered that Jones was subject to an incredibly strange set of circumstances, he most likely did something wrong to fail a drug test.
Does that mean he’ll be sued successfully? In a word, no.
As you can see above, those UFC 151 tickets explicitly state “Card Subject to Change”. That’s the case with basically any and all UFC events, where they will explicitly state somewhere that the card may change between the purchasing of the ticket and the night of the fight.
While Jones may have been negligent, there’s no way the man will be able to get a judge to rule in his favor.
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