Dana White addresses his icy relationship with Jon Jones ahead of UFC 214
UFC president Dana White candidly stated ahead of the event this weekend from Anaheim that he hadn’t talked to former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones since last July.
White’s ire with Jones stemmed from the incident at UFC 200 when he was pulled from the card just days before the event after testing positive for a banned substance. It was the latest in a long line of issues Jones had suffered including a lengthy suspension in 2015 after being involved in a hit-and-run car accident.
Jones being yanked from the main event just days before one of the biggest events in UFC history obviously didn’t sit well with White and he let his anger be known by turning a deaf ear towards the former champion for the past year.
This week as White and Jones have finally spoken while on stage together to promote the upcoming UFC 214 card but it doesn’t appear the bridge has been completely rebuilt just yet. Jones made comments earlier in the week while stating that he no longer looked at White as his boss but instead preferred to deal directly with Ari Emanuel, the new owner of the UFC as co-CEO of WME-IMG alongside Patrick Whitesell.
It’s clear the two sides haven’t decided to mend fences just yet, but White says he hopes to speak to Jones away from the public spotlight after UFC 214 is concluded.
“The only communication we’ve had, we’ve talked a couple times this week but just the other day on the stage, today on the stage and just now when I was over there [after the weigh-ins],” White said about his interactions with Jones this week.
“I was obviously very upset at UFC 200 and for whatever reason he’s upset. We’ll get through tomorrow night and we’ll figure it out privately.”
If Jones is victorious on Saturday night, he will once again become one of the faces of the UFC as the longest reigning champion in light heavyweight history.
With Conor McGregor focused on his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and Ronda Rousey nearing retirement, Jones is also one of the last remaining proven pay-per-view draws on the UFC roster so it’s probably in everyone’s benefit that he at least have a working relationship with White going forward.
Whether or not that happens, remains to be seen.