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

Dana White says this was Jon Jones last chance

  • 28 days ago
  • 439 views

The UFC president was a guest on ESPN's Sports Nation yesterday and commented on his former light heavyweight champ. Dana White was a guest on ESPN's SportsNation live from Las Vegas yesterday and th read news >>

Dana White on stripping Jon Jones' title: This was his last chance ... of many

  • 28 days ago
  • 93 views

Jon Jones is undoubtedly one of -- if not the biggest -- star Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has on its roster. So, fair or not, the former light heavyweight champion received special treatment read news >>

Stephen Espinoza: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fan enthusiasm has reached 'uncharted territory'

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Stephen Espinoza, the head of Showtime Sports, spoke to SB Nation on Wednesday about the financials behind Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, working with HBO and Top Rank, the future of boxing on Showtime, wh read news >>

Dana White on Jon Jones: ‘Jon’s had a lot of chances; this one was his last chance’

  • 28 days ago
  • 374 views

Jon Jones has seen better weeks. Within the span of four chaotic days, the ex-UFC light heavyweight champion not only lost his UFC title, but also his blue-chip Reebok sponsorship, his headlining spo read news >>

Dana White likes Floyd Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC President Dana White predicts Floyd Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night. After nearly six years of anticipation, the ‘Fight of the Century' between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacq read news >>

VIDEO: Dana White Announces Jon Jones Stripped of UFC Belt

  • 29 days ago
  • 1006 views

UFC president Dana White was on FOX Sports Live on Tuesday night to announce that the promotion had stripped champion Jon Jones of his title. read news >>

Twitter reacts to UFC stripping Jon Jones of title, Cormier-Johnson headliner at UFC 187

  • 29 days ago
  • 145 views

Controversy surrounding Jon Jones again sent the MMA world into mayhem late Tuesday when the 27-year-old was suspended indefinitely and stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title.Filed under: Featur read news >>

Jon Jones Stripped of UFC Title, Suspended Indefinitely

  • 29 days ago
  • 257 views

Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely by the organization, UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday. read news >>

Dana White on Jon Jones: 'People make mistakes', UFC future still unclear

  • 29 days ago
  • 89 views

UFC president Dana White provides his first public comments on Jon Jones' hit-and-run case in Albuquerque. UFC president Dana White is in Albuquerque, New Mexico alongside Lorenzo Fertitta and Lawren read news >>