It will be the first time White and Jones have come face-to-face or even spoken since the situation happened a few weeks ago when UFC 151 was cancelled. Jones turned down a late notice fight with Chael Sonnen after original opponent Dan Henderson was injured, and eventually the entire card was scrapped.
White was unable to make an appearance at the UFC 152 pre-fight press conference where he would have seen Jones earlier this week due to a flare up with his Meniere’s disease that caused him to take some time off.
“It showed up again and showed me who the boss was, it put me down, I’ve been down since Wednesday,” said White when speaking to Fuel TV.
Now the meeting between White and Jones will take place on Friday, and it sounds like after some recent comments from the champion, they have a few more things to discuss.
“I don’t really know if it would have made much of a difference if they had told me, but they didn’t tell me they were going to cancel the fight,” said Jones during the press conference on Thursday.
White disputes those claims and says that’s one of many topics he plans on addressing with Jones when they meet on Friday.
“I’m actually glad that he did say that, I don’t think he would have said that if I was there. So today we’re going to be face to face and we’ll see what he says and what he doesn’t say,” White stated.
“Because the fact that he says he didn’t know the show would get cancelled is false. I did tell him that the show would be cancelled, and he’s acting like he’s taking it lightly, which it shouldn’t be.”
Whether it’s intentional or not, White isn’t seeing a serious reaction from Jones when he talks about his part in the cancellation of UFC 151. White’s not sure what that all means, but he plans on talking to the champion and hopefully clearing the air once and for all.
“The fact that that fight was cancelled isn’t a joke. It’s not funny. A lot of people were affected by it, it was a lot of collateral damage that happened with the cancelling of that show, so I don’t know we’ll see how this goes,” said White.
“I think he needs to take it a little more serious than he is. I don’t know if he’s embarrassed or whatever his deal is about this thing, but obviously there’s been a lot of fans that have turned on him and things like that.”
The fans in Toronto certainly let Jones hear their displeasure in his appearance on Friday as he received a loud chorus of boos from the crowd in attendance. The boos drowned out any fans that were cheering the UFC light heavyweight champion, but he maintained a smile throughout.
White stated that he’s not sure if this situation will damage Jones’ image with the fans long term, but as far as their relationship goes he hopes to hash things out with him today.
“This is the fight business and people like guys who step up and fight anybody, anywhere, any time. To call Jon Jones not a fighter, he’s fought all the best, right in a row, has stepped up when we needed him to do it, etc,” said White.
“It’s just this whole thing has gone sideways here and hopefully we get things fixed in a few minutes.”
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