Corey Anderson shared a plane with Jon Jones following the UFC 232 venue-change and in a recent interview, revealed his detached reaction to the inconvenience caused.
Jones has had something of a patchy relationship with both the fans and the fighters in recent years but after UFC 232, another anti-doping mishap caused a ripple that affected both to perhaps an even greater extent than before.
The UFC’s decision to move the event from Las Vegas to California just a few days out saw many people miss out on attending the show. Even those who did attend were inconvenienced massively and while the night of fights went ahead, there was certainly the sense that the move was a real low for the promotion.
Light-heavyweight Corey Anderson was one of the fighters forced to fly across country with very little notice – bringing with him his pregnant wife and in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on ESPN, he explained Jon Jones’ demeanour when he boarded the plane they shared.
“I looked over at my wife. I could see she was uncomfortable with the baby – I could see how many people were inconvenienced. I was talking to the UFC employees – who did a great job taking care of us – but you could see they were all frustrated and flustered. You could hear it in their voices. They were worn out.
“Then Jon came on the plane. He was dancing, having a good time like this isn’t his fault. If that was me, I would feel like s**t because these people had to leave their families, change their plans because I messed up.
“I would have made a general apology when I got on the plane. I would have let everyone know that I was sorry. Instead, he was laughing, joking, having a good time, cracking jokes with the pilots.
“I remember looking at the back of his head the whole time and thinking ‘I gotta get there’. I have to win this fight this weekend and start my way to being the champ.”
Corey Anderson was sitting directly behind Jon Jones on that flight from Vegas to LA prior to UFC 232. He stared at the back of his head the whole time. And then he had a revelation.