59% of ESPN fans believe Cormier/Jones brawl was staged
On Monday at a media press conference for UFC 178, UFC champion Jon Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier got into a serious altercation. The two approached each other on stage to square off for the cameras and Jones moved his fore head into Cormier's, who responded with an upward shove.
Jones responded by pushing UFC public relations head Dave Sholler out of the way and throwing a big punch at Cormier. Both tumbled to the ground Jones can be seen throwing punches from the top with Cormier punching back from the bottom. The scuffle was broken up by security and UFC staff and Jones returned to the stage to howl at the audience.
Both athletes appeared on ESPN shortly thereafter to discuss the brawl and continue their verbal taunting and the UFC later released a statement revealing that the incident would end with ramifications for both athletes. The Nevada State Athletic Commission also requested a copy of the video to investigate.
Whether or not you feel like like the brawl was bad for the sport, it certainly raised the profile of the fight and will likely now produce more PPVs. That said, is it possible the event was staged by the UFC for publicity? Not likely, but a recent poll on ESPN.com showed that a fair amount of their fans believe that could be the case: