UFC President Dana White did not attend today’s UFC 152 press conference. They said he was stuck in traffic, but he has been known to duck out of a press conference or two when things don’t go so well. He may just be sick to death talking about the whole Jon Jones-UFC 151 situation. I know we’re pretty tired of reporting on it here.
However, one question did come up at today’s presser that I had not heard Jon Jones address yet, and that was, would he have still not taken the fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 had he known they were going to cancel the entire event?
Jones said it ultimately probably would have not made any difference:
“I really don’t know. I don’t know if it would have made much of a difference if they had told me [they were going to cancel the event]. But they didn’t tell me they were going to cancel the fight. But you know, like I said, they asked me to put my whole livelihood on the line, and I train five times a day, and being the champion, you know, it means more to me than it means to any fan. It means more to me than what it means to Dana White. If I would have somehow lost that fight Dana wouldn’t have lost a night of sleep over it. Life would have gone on and I would have been the one stuck out there. So I don’t know if it would have made that much of a difference.”
Now, if you saw Jones’ interview with Ariel Helwani following the open workouts on Wednesday, you heard Ariel ask him about this “new Jon Jones” that seems to be a more honest version of himself and that he seems to be speaking his mind more these days. It’s an interesting point. And I imagine having the company commander publicly throw you under the bus probably tends to have that effect on a person. Jones continued:
“Ultimately, you know, why wasn’t it [UFC 151] a good enough… a great card? What was wrong with that card? Why did it have to get canceled? You know, I watch bar fights. I love fights no matter what level it is. I think it was more of an insult to the other fighters on the card that pretty much it was almost like saying they weren’t good enough to host the card without me, and Dan Henderson. I think it was more of an offensive thing… They should be mad at the superiors, not mad at me. So yeah, at the end of the day, I probably would have done what was best for my career. And I can’t really carry the weight of what happened because it really wasn’t my thing. You know, I showed up to fight. My teammates was on that card. I would have loved to been able to watch them fight. I think some real questions need to be asked to Dana about why the fight got canceled.”
Whether this new more outspoken Jones is going to pay off for him in the long run remains to be seen. However, I can’t help but think this is not going to make his scheduled sit down with UFC President Dana White any more pleasant. Jones said their meeting is scheduled just before weigh-ins on Friday.
What do you think fight fans, is it “good business” for Jones to speak out like this? And who would like to be a fly on the wall when he has his face-to-face with White?