Dana White backs Jones over eye-poke controversy


After a few days to think on it, and amid some continued fan outcry, Dana White has stepped up to bat for Jon Jones and his open handed defense.

It's amazing how a little remove and an outpouring of fan dissent will change a man's tune. Immediately post UFC 172, Dana White was echoing the voice of the people when he told Ariel Helwani that "we've got to stop that stuff," in response to Helwani's questions about Jones' open hand strategy and the eye pokes resulting from it. He's not exactly going off message now, but in a recent conversation with MMA Junkie, White was much more firm in his support for the light heavyweight champion and his actions.

White was still beating the drum of the need for fighters to keep their hands closed, and the problems that traditional open handed guards present in causing eye pokes, but steered the conversation away from "guys who have reach."

"It's not just taller fighters," he said. "Jones has that range and he can do it, but lots of guys do it because that's how you block punches. So you keep your hands open and you slap punches down. Then guys are rushing in and you're doing whatever, and guys get poked in the eyes.

Eventually he was fairly hard line in his dismissal of Jones as a repeat offender in a broken system, making it clear that most criticism is coming from a needlessly vocal fanbase who "are always going to go overboard with Jon Jones because they don't like him."

"[Jones] poked him in the eye twice, and then the referee warned him about it, and he never did it again," White said. "They're making it sound like he was targeting his eyes and sticking his fingers in his eyes the entire fight and nobody did anything about it. He did it twice, he was warned, and he never did it again in a five-round fight."

It may run somewhat contrary to his previous sentiments on the topic, but it's actually refreshing to see White going to bat for the light heavyweight champion. White is correct in his feelings that Jones will always have an uphill battle with the core UFC fanbase, but a big part of winning that battle comes from the promotion not joining in the chorus to tear him down. If the UFC can still make eye pokes a priority without making it about Jon Jones, they would probably be better off for it.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Las Vegas doesn’t have a pro team. But there’s always Bishop Gorman, which has won five straight titles in football. Gorman has plenty of celebrity fans, with UFC president and Gorman alum Dana White read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 9 views

Yoel Romero appeared to be the benefactor of a generous dollop of Vaseline and a slow moving corner. He and Dana White weigh in on the controversy. read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 451 views

Yoel Romero’s cornermen weren’t exactly on their best behavior Saturday night at UFC 178, UFC President Dana White said, but the UFC is also partially to blame for a controversial delay between round read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

Not all fight hype is created equal, but when it comes to altercations between fighters outside the cage, King Mo says perception lies with name value. Two things happened recently, under somewhat di read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 19 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) suspended light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson -- indefinitely -- after allegations surfaced that "Rumble" was involved in another domestic assault back in read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

Looks like UFC President Dana White isn't particularly excited that women's MMA pioneer Gina Carano has opted to make more movies instead of stepping inside the Octagon. White went off on "Conviction read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 77 views

Wanderlei Silva's exit from mixed martial arts certainly hasn't been graceful. Prior to receiving a lifetime ban from competition by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday, Silva retired from the read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 222 views

The longer the cat and mouse game stretches out between the UFC and former Strikeforce star Gina Carano, the less likely it appears that Carano will be seen donning a pair of UFC gloves in the upcomi read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

With several domestic violence scandals still rocking the NFL, UFC officials reacted swiftly to news that emerged last week concerning Anthony Johnson, suspending the light heavyweight contender inde read news >>

Jump to: