A lot of the heat surrounding Jones and the DWI has died down over the past couple weeks, probably because Jones has chosen to stay out of the spotlight and has done zero media. One man who has made his feeling very public, though, has been Dana White. The UFC president is never hesitant to share his true thoughts about anything and when he was asked about Jones by reporters in a media scrum following the “UFC on FX 3: Johnson vs. McCall” post-fight press conference last week, White said he thinks it was a case of the pressure getting to the youngest champion in the history of the organization.
“The pressure gets to everybody man, it’s tough. Especially for these younger guys. You know, when you come into money and fame and all the things that come. There’s just so many – the worst part of any of this is the cling-ons, you know? The cling-ons are the ones who come out and crawl out from under the rocks and all these creepy places and start trying to attach themselves to you and tell you what they can do for you, what they can get. You can do this and that. Then you’re 24-years-old, now all of a sudden all the girls notice you. How you can walk into any club you want, any restaurant, all these things. The whole world changes, man. It’s very overwhelming and it’s going to be one of the challenges, that, not just Jon Jones, but all the new champions that we bring up over the next several years. It’s tough man, it’s a tough thing to manage.”
White explains that he can relate to Jones’ situation because, in his words, he’s been there as well. He understands why Jones has kept his status low-key since the incident and that although Jones has dominated every opponent he has faced since winning the championship roughly 15-months ago, simply winning fights doesn’t make you the best fighter in the world, it takes more to be considered the best pound-for-pound fight in the world, at least in his opinion.
“(Jon Jones) is a young guy and, you know, and this fame and all the you know, money and everything has come really quick and a lot of people don’t really understand how that is, and then when you take a humiliating hit publicly in front of everybody, you know he’s kind of hiding right now, he’s laying low and it’s kind of a hard thing to overcome. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve been there and done it myself and I think it’s going to be, you know…he’ll learn from this and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
“One of the things I’ve always said about this guy, when everybody wanted to throw him out there and say, ‘He’s the pound-for-pound best, he’s this, he’s that’. He just got there. He just got to the top, and he’s knocked off some really good guys, he’s got a long way to go before we start saying ‘he’s this, he’s that’. Yes, he’s very talented. He’s done some amazing things in the last year, but it’s more than just, you know, how you’ve fought in the last year to see what kind of a champion he’s going to be.”
Jones will continue to stay active through this personal hardship as he is scheduled to face Dan Henderson in his fourth title defense at UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
To get the latest on UFC 151 and other upcoming fight cards, head over to the rumors section.
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.