The last few weeks have served as a major lesson to UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones.
Following his decision to turn down a late notice fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 and the eventual cancellation of the event, Jones has been vilified by the majority of the media and fans for passing on the bout and right or wrong the bulk of the blame landed squarely on his shoulders for the first UFC event being cancelled in 11 years.
As far as the fight business goes, Jon Jones is doing just fine. Outside of a submission attempt in the first round, Jones dominated former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort for the better part of 15+ minutes en route to a fourth round victory.
In regards to his personal and business relationship with UFC President Dana White, well that appears on the mend after the two of them met on Friday following the UFC 152 weigh-ins.
Jones says that after meeting with White face-to-face for the first time since UFC 151 was cancelled, they have a better understanding of the situation, and their relationship will actually grow stronger now.
“I think me and Dana are forever going to be a lot closer. We really got to talk to each other on the level as two grown men, not boss and an athlete. It was more two adults talking like adults. I got to express to him how I felt about what he said, he got to really put me in his shoes, and tell me where he was at as the president of an organization and explain the loss that he suffered,” Jones said when speaking to Fuel TV after his win at UFC 152.
“Neither one of us was necessarily apologetic about anything but we really just came to a greater understanding.”
A few weeks ago White was using words like ‘selfish’ to describe Jones, but after their meeting on Friday, the UFC’s top light heavyweight believes it can all be water under the bridge now.
“I think we left with a mutual respect for each other and we’ll have a much stronger relationship in the future,” said Jones.
As far as his next challenge goes, Jones first must have his arm examined after Belfort’s first round submission attempt. At the UFC 152 post fight press conference, Jones stated that the original diagnosis was potentially nerve damage in his bicep, but he had not had time to have his arm x-rayed yet.
Jones will visit with doctors late on Saturday night and await word on his recovery time once a full diagnosis has been given.
In terms of challengers however, Jones still looks at the man he was supposed to fight at UFC 151 as the most likely competitor to next challenge for his UFC light heavyweight title.
“Honestly, I think I have some unfinished business to do with Dan Henderson,” said Jones. “When he heals up I would love to pick up where we left off.”
Henderson is still on the road to recovery from a knee injury that forced him out of UFC 151, but sources have indicated the long time Team Quest member is ready to get back into training. Henderson is expected to travel to Singapore in the next month to work with long time friend and coach Heath Sims, who is now a full time teacher at Evolve MMA, where he will also train alongside former opponent and UFC champion Rich Franklin.