Because of Jon Jones’ drug test mishaps in previous years, the UFC was forced to move UFC 232 from Nevada to California in a week’s time. Many see this as the company giving special treatment to “Bones”, but according to those who were greatly affected like 205-pound contender Corey Anderson, the favoritism was something else.
During his appearance on a recent episode of the JRE MMA Show, Anderson recounted several incidents during fight week that blatantly showed how Jones was receiving special treatment. One of them was the messed up flight arrangements to California, which nearly led to his wife not being able to come along, while struggling to go about things because she was eight months pregnant at the time.
“UFC called me right before I got in the flight, they were like ‘Oh, don’t come,’” Anderson told Joe Rogan. “I’m on my way to Vegas now, I got my wife, she’s eight months pregnant. She can’t travel after this. She’s struggling, we’re hauling bags, and now you’re calling to say don’t come, this and this. Go back home, fly you out again. I’m not doing this again.
“We were literally walking down the runway to the plane when they called me. But then, when we got there, they were like ‘OK, we can get you to Cali, but we can’t get your wife to Cali.’ My wife is 30 weeks pregnant, she’ here, she’s coming.”
Another incident was during one of Anderson’s scheduled training sessions at the UFC Performance Institute. He had his workouts booked a month and a half in advance, only to find out he won’t be able to go through with it because Jones had the entire training room closed off for himself.
“I did mine like a month and a half ahead of time. Like I said, I’m punctual, I like getting stuff done,” Anderson said. “I’m getting ready to go to the P.I., I’m packing my bags and I get a call. ‘Oh, you can’t come to the P.I. Jon just came in and he wants to work out, so we’re closing the gym down, and you’re not allowed.’
“You all called me two months ago and told me to set my schedule to come ahead of time. I’m literally getting ready to walk to my Uber that’s outside, and you’re saying I can’t come now? They’re like ‘Sorry, nothing we can do, it’s Jon.’”
Anderson’s main gripe is the unequal treatment the UFC is giving the rest of the fighters in the roster who aren’t belt holders.
“They’re letting one person dictate it all,” he said. “We’re all equal. Right now, they’re treating us like a number. He’s Jon Jones, but we’re number 4,722. I don’t like that. He’s Jon, I’m Corey.
“If I’m the champ, I don’t want this. I don’t want no special treatment,” he continued. “If you tell me ‘Sign up ahead of time and keep your schedule,’ I expect that. If we get down to the scale first come, first serve, if I show up late, put me in the order I am. Don’t put me up front because I’m the champ.”
Anderson (12-4, with four wins by knockout) was part of UFC 232’s main card, where he faced Ilir Latifi. He won the fight via unanimous decision.