Since last night when Jeremy Stephens' arrest and UFC president Dana White's bizarre handling of the situation became the talk of the sport, there has been one constantly repeated defense: Floyd Mayweather got to have his sentence delayed! Mayweather was even invoked by Dana at the UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot post-fight presser.
Here's what Dana had to say:
"Floyd Mayweather got to decide when to go to jail, you know what I mean? But this kid on an assault charge, couldn't have come out and fight today. When he could gone back to jail, I could have bailed him out, I would have flew him to Des Moines, Iowa to face the charges there. And they dragged me out and played games all day."
First of all, I can't say enough how ridiculous of an idea it is that someone should be allowed to leave jail hours after a felony arrest, and leave only for a few hours, so that they can compete in a violent cage fight. It's such an incredibly bad PR move that it's hard to believe it was even considered, let alone spoken of in public
But back to the Mayweather comparison.
Floyd had already been to trial for his charges, he'd been sentenced after a plea that reduced the charge down to a misdemeanor.
Was his sentence moved so that he could fight Miguel Cotto? Absolutely. And you can argue that that was wrong, or that it was wrong that a domestic violence charge was allowed to have been reduced to a misdemeanor to begin with.
But the fact that Floyd had gone through a trial makes the situation completely different from Stephens, who had been arrested that morning. Stephens hadn't gone to trail, there was no chance to have a judge make a decision over the appropriateness of allowing him to fight.
Stephens was taken into custody for a warrant for a violent crime (assault), there's no reasonable case that he should have been allowed to participate in a cage fight that same night.