According to an Aug. 4 report from CBS Sports, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones hyped up the UFC 178 headlining bout by scuffling with Daniel Cormier at a promotional event to drum up support for the show. Jones and Cormier got up in each others' faces, before the latter shoved the champ. Jones then responded by pushing Cormier, and taking him to the ground while UFC staffers tried to separate them.
Was the entire thing staged? No one knows for sure, but it seems likely. Here's the thing: UFC sent out a Vine post of the incident, which would lead most fight fans to believe the promotion fully supported the shoving match during the promo event in Las Vegas. If the UFC was so against the shoving match, they never would have promoted it from their own social media platforms.
The entire incident between Jones and Cormier may have been an elaborate publicity stunt. Did it work? Absolutely. Immediately following the shoving match between Jones and Cormier, both of their names were buzzing across social media. Suddenly, thousands of fight fans were talking about UFC 178. The fight between Jones and Cormier instantly received extra buzz, all stemming from the shoving incident.
Jones and Cormier are smart business men. They know fans love to purchase pay-per-view events featuring fights between athletes who truly dislike each other in real life. Some of the biggest-selling UFC events featured headlining bouts between fighters who had real-life feuds going. No one knows for sure if Jones and Cormier have a genuine hatred for each other.
Real or fake, it is doing wonders to sell the fight. Jones and Cormier may very well be best friends behind the scenes, but they are doing well to help get fans excited to see them duke it out inside the cage. At the end of the day, it's all about selling the fight. UFC 178 might end up being one of the highest-rated pay-per-view events because Jones and Cormier are doing their part to get fans interested in watching them scrap.
UFC 178 goes down Sept. 27 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Besides Jones vs. Cormier, the event features Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor and Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes. Also on the card, Dominick Cruz scraps with Takeya Mizugaki. Tim Kennedy also fights on the main card of UFC 178, as he battles Yoel Romero.