In a press release in the days following the event being scrapped, White stated, “UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered.” While he words were harsh and likely born out of frustration for having to cancel the Sept. 1 event at the last minute, the UFC boss claims that even though he has not spoken with Jones since the cancellation of the event, he holds nothing against the 25-year-old.
“We haven’t talked since the incident.” White said on the most recent edition of FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight. “I’ve got no animosity towards Jones. We’ll find out how our relationship is as we move on. This thing is a little weird. It’s never happened before.”
White is indeed correct when he says it’s never happened before. Never in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has the organization canceled a formally announced event, let alone cancel the show eight days before it was supposed to take place.
With the UFC having lost roughly 2 million dollars just in advertising for UFC 151, White’s initial anger towards the situation is understandable.
“I had my moment where I was upset. One of the things that I like is our consistency. We’ve never cancelled an event.” White explained. “People don’t realize the collateral damage that goes on and how many people who are depending on these events to go on. Not just the fighters and the UFC. So many other people who work for, and are invested, in these shows and this is the first time we’ve ever cancelled one, so that’s a little emotional.”
While White admits he got emotional over the situation, he claims to have no regrets about his reaction or his comments about Jones.
“I have no regrets what-so-ever.” White said. “What exactly did I say about Jon Jones that was so horrible?”
The UFC president has clashed with more than a handful of fighters over the years. Some of those disagreements have made their way into the public, others have not. Whether he admits it or not, there is no doubt White’s recent dispute with Jones has caused a small riff in his relationship with the champion. Only time will tell if that riff grows or is mended.
Light will soon be shed on that question as both White and Jones will be doing plenty of media before Jones fights Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC 152 on Sept. 22.
Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com, wrote this article. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @FightCoveMike. Also, be sure to follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.