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Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Let’s talk about the fights outside the Octagon

The UFC needs to take a stand against domestic violence instead of putting predators on a pedestal

Jon Jones is one of the most accomplished fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Notorious for his unorthodox fighting style, he became the youngest Champ in UFC history and has earned his way into the UFC Hall of Fame. 

Jones recently returned from a three-year hiatus in March, defeating Ciryl Gane to improve his record to 27-1-0. Jones will enter the Octagon again to fight No. 3 heavy-weight contender, Stipe Miocic, on Nov. 11. Jones is nearly a four-to-one favorite to win.

But, In the three years that Jones hasn’t been in the Octagon, we forgot about his most infamous beatdown: one that took place outside the arena.

No Octagon, just a hotel bedroom.

No cheering spectators, only his three crying children. 

No highly ranked opponent, just his defenseless fiancée, Jessie Moses.

Moses was found by law enforcement with bloodied clothes and a busted lip. In September 2021, Jones was arrested for felony battery and domestic violence. 

After his arrest, the UFC stood silent. Jones had been suspended previously — but not for hitting his fiancée. He was punished for doping.

Jones might’ve been arrested, but his career didn’t take a hit. He went on to win more matches, receive more money and is now in the most highly advertised upcoming fight in the UFC.

He shouldn’t be allowed to step back into the Octagon — not on Nov. 11, not ever. 

But it isn’t just Jones — the UFC has a domestic violence issue. Chuck Liddell, Luis Pena, Mike Perry and Cain Carrizosa all have domestic charges against them. And while some fighters were released for their actions, others continue to fight, regardless of their lengthy records.

It isn’t only the fighters; Dana White, President of the UFC, is on tape slapping his wife across the face at a nightclub. 

According to research conducted by HBO Sports, public records revealed that for every 100,000 men in the U.S., there were, on average, 360 domestic violence arrests. Those same records showed that in the UFC, the average was 750 arrests per 100,000.

UFC fighters have a unique responsibility. It’s not acceptable for an accountant or factory worker to engage in domestic violence., Accounting offices don’t train their employees to beat their coworkers to the point of a knockout or submission. A factory doesn’t teach its workers how to put their coworkers into chokeholds and squeeze until they tap.
The UFC does. It specifically gives already violent men the tools that they need to become deadly. Then, when their aggressive tendencies leak outside of the Octagon, the UFC continues to reward them with big fights and bigger paydays.

Most of these fighters go on to become champions. They can still be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and will often become the most notorious fighters in the UFC, regardless of their behavior outside the Octagon. 

That needs to change. 

 Kayla Estrada is a senior news editor and can be reached at  

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Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.  



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