As Dana White alluded to in the press conference to announce Jon Jones' situation and a re-jigged UFC 200 card; it's testament to the strength of this UFC 200 card that the UFC can drop Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier, promote Mark Hunt vs Brock Lesnar to main event status and keep the show rolling. Jones apparently failed a drug test and the show goes on.
I don't really want to dwell on Jones and his failed test. I had somewhat of an epiphany as I watched that press conference which comes as doping in world sport continues to sit pretty at the top of the list as the biggest issue facing sport.
Gone is the shock. I'm no longer shocked or disappointed when I hear such news and I don't view that as a bad thing. We live in a time when we are all trying to adjust to swift change in the world and it's a matter of fact that there will be a percentage (usually small) of dopers given the sheer number of athletes. We also have to consider that organisations like the UFC are putting more time, resource and effort into their drug testing, they've made it a focus and that's gonna result in more athletes getting caught out. At this current time, I'd rather hear of a positive test over hearing that everyone's clean ... we know that across all sport, not everyone is clean.
Doping is happening, how we deal with it as fans and media only fuels the circus.
In sports like MMA, in organisations like the UFC and in events like UFC 200, we are able to keep the ball rolling, keep it moving forward without Jones. Jones will have his day to re-test and plead his case - it's a weird one as he had apparently just sorted his life out - but for now we ignore him.
If you test positive, you don't get the attention, we just ignore you and move on.
If you test positive, we just focus on the athletes who are deemed to be clean and celebrate them.
We don't care about you if you're a doper ... you don't exist to us sports fans.
Instead of a big kerfuffle about the athlete, surely acting as if they disappeared of the face of the planet does more damage to the athlete and their 'brand'.
Doping happens and it will continue to take place, just ignore those who are guilty dopers.
This sucks for Daniel Cormier as he misses out on drawing the curtain on a rivalry that was an emotional rollercoaster. It's unsure whether Cormier will still fight on the UFC 200 card and those details will be sussed out while this thingy is floating through the inter-webs. There is great benefit in Cormier fighting someone on a late call-up as Cormier is down to get a cut in the pay-per-view money if he fights and the UFC obviously feel Cormier's pain, so as long as Cormier is keen, the UFC will try to make that happen.
Without Jones, the UFC light heavyweight division still offers enough funk to keep things interesting in the next year or so. There's still Anthony Johnson, Glover Teixeira, Alex Gustafsson and Ovince Saint Preux who can offer stiff challenges to Cormier's belt, plus there ain't a shortage of middleweights who could meet Cormier halfway with a decent chunk to the middleweight division's top-10 capable of offering an interesting fight for Cormier.
The light heavyweight show will go on, as will UFC 200.
I previewed Hunt vs Lesnar here, so get amongst some of that.
We only have to look at the rest of the main card to reassure ourselves as UFC fans that this event will still be a hum-dinger without Jones vs Cormier. Miesha Tate will defend her belt against Amanda Nunes, which is Tate's first defence since she snatched the belt away from Holly Holm with an epic performance. Holm and Ronda Rousey are lurking in the shadows, but Nunes is a ruthless striker who could make life extremely difficult for Tate especially in the opening exchanges.
This isn't the only intriguing ladies fight as Cat Zingano will fight Julianna Pena, with Zingano also in the mix to compete for the belt if she can grab another win. Consider that Tate is the champion, Nunes is ranked #4, Zingano is ranked #3 and Pena is ranked #5; including the champ, every female fighter in the top-five not named Holm or Rousey is taking part in UFC 200. Chur to that.
Again, the UFC rolls on and there's no shortage of female funk in the UFC, let alone the fellas.
Jose Aldo steps back into the octagon after getting smoked by Conor McGregor and he'll fight Frankie Edgar. That'll be all-action and you'd be silly not to catch that fight, especially with Aldo making his return as he'll be eager to stamp his mark on the UFC after that slip up against McGregor.
Remember Cain Velasquez? The heavyweight has constantly battled injury over the past few years which has seen him relinquish his standing as the best heavyweight in the UFC, he's still ranked #2 though and he'll fight Travis Browne (#7) who is looking to work himself into position for a title shot. Velasquez offers a ferocious pace, whether striking or grappling and how he performs, then how Browne handles Velasquez will be super interesting. Browne can land some unique strikes as well, so there'll be plenty to enjoy.
Also remember that Hunt is a heavyweight, so if Hunt beats Lesnar, he could likely find himself fighting either Velasquez or Browne in the near future. Hunt probably needs to win another fight before he's mentioned as a contender. If Lesnar wins, he'll probably just go back to WWE.
On Sky TV, for free, we'll be able to watch Zingano vs Pena, Johnny Hendricks vs Kelvin Gastelum, TJ Dillashaw vs Raphael Assuncao and Sage Northcutt vs Enrique Marin. Probably the best line up to not feature on a main card ever so make sure you catch that for free on telly, before you pay to catch the main card (pssst, just figure out the internet thing and watch the main card for free as well).
Cormier vs Jones was a fight that was part of a unique package, along with a number of other fights, it helped build the UFC 200 card up to lofty heights. Hopefully, for Cormier's sake, the UFC finds him a suitable opponent. Key word being suitable as anything less than that simply won't be adequate and the UFC knows this, they'll find the right fight/fighter otherwise Cormier will have to be rewarded for his graft at a later date.
Consider UFC 200 as a game of jenga and Cormier vs Jones as a block that you can pull out of the tower, yet the tower still stands. UFC 200 still stands and it stands strong.