Last year, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was pencilled in for a comeback fight opposite reigning champ and heated rival Daniel Cormier. Jones’ big-ticket comeback was expected to occur in the main event of UFC 200, which served as the crescendo of 2016’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
Regrettably, Jones failed a drug test in the lead-up to this event, which meant that his main event battle with Cormier was scrapped at the last minute. In the wake of this biblical disaster, UFC President Dana White assured he would never trust Jon Jones to headlined a UFC card again.
As it tuns out, White wouldn’t be talking to Jones anymore either. In a recent interview with ESPN, the UFC boss assured he hasn’t spoken to the former champ since his scrapped UFC 200 showdown with Cormier.
“JON JONES AND I STILL HAVEN’T TALKED SINCE THE LAST TIME HE PULLED OUT OF UFC 200,” WHITE SAID (H/TMMAFIGHTING.COM). “BUT HE’S GETTING THE OPPORTUNITY RIGHT NOW TO COME BACK AND FACE DANIEL CORMIER, WITHOUT A DOUBT TWO OF THE BEST LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS EVER, BOTH OF THESE GUYS.
While White hasn’t spoken to Jones in over a year, he was very complimentary of his former champion.
“JON JONES HAS OBVIOUSLY HAD THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE GREATEST OF ALL-TIME, I MEAN, THIS GUY STILL HASN’T LOST A FIGHT. IF YOU LOOK AT HIS RECORD, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A ‘1’ THERE, BUT THAT IS BECAUSE A REFEREE THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN REFFING [REFFED HIS FIGHT AGAINST MATT HAMILL], A GUY WHO COMPLETELY SCREWED UP JON JONES’ RECORD, SO THIS IS JON JONES’ CHANCE TO COME BACK AND STAY UNDEFEATED.”
White did, however, make a foreboding comment about the possibility of Jones bailing on UFC 214.
“I WASN’T HAPPY WITH HIM AND WHAT HAPPENED WITH HIM FALLING OUT OF UFC 200,” WHITE EXPLAINED. “I FEEL LIKE WE’VE BEEN THERE FOR THE GUY EVERY TIME HE’S HAD A PROBLEM, AND FOR HIM TO DO THAT AT UFC 200, I WAS JUST… I WAS NOT HAPPY. BUT WE DON’T HAVE TO TALK FOR HIM TO COME BACK AND DO WHAT HE’S GOING TO TRY TO DO ON SATURDAY NIGHT, WE DON’T HAVE TO TALK. I’M NOT MAD AT HIM ANYMORE LIKE I WAS BEFORE, BUT WE’LL SEE HOW THIS THING PLAYS OUT. I MEAN, IF HE DOESN’T SHOW UP FOR THIS ONE, THAT’S GOING BE WHOLE OTHER BALL GAME, BUT I’M COOL WITH JON JONES RIGHT NOW.”
Do you think Jon Jones and Dana White will ever mend fences?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 7/26/2017.